Mon
Oct 22 2012 5:00pm

Iron Man 3’s Mandarin Revealed, His Origins Explained

Update: The trailer is here!

Iron Man 3’s Mandarin Revealed, His Origins Explained

We’ll have the shiny full trailer by tomorrow, but for now, we’ve got some tantalizing new tidbits from producer Kevin Feige on Iron Man 3, including the lowdown on Tony Stark’s new nemesis, the Mandarin.

It has been know for some time that Ben Kingsley would be taking on the role of The Mandarin, which might have confused some fans, since the nation of origin for the character in the comics was China. It looks as though the Mandarin’s origins are being tweaked to fit the film universe, and his role is far more sinister than we might have guessed. Rather than receiving ten rings of power from an alien source, it would seem that the Mandarin is a part of (or, more likely, the head of) the Ten Rings terrorist organization – which has been part of the Iron Man movie mythos from day one and who are best known as the guys who kidnapped Tony Stark in Afghanistan and gave him a reason to become the armored superhero we all know and love.

As a result, the Mandarin’s title is, according to Feige, “less about his specific ethnicity than the symbolism of various cultures and iconography that he perverts for his own end.” Very interesting.

Iron Man 3’s Mandarin Revealed, His Origins Explained

Some pictures have been released, giving us an indication of what’s to come for our favorite Marvel genius, and it’s clear that while his pad is going to get trashed, his love for Ms. Potts is still going strong. We’ll get to see Stark without his toys, and watch him build himself from the ground up. Take a look at the teaser trailer before tomorrow’s full length trailer hits the web!

And here's the full trailer!


Stubby the Rocket is the Tor.com mascot. Stubby would like Tony Stark to design Stubby armor. Red is fine.

11 comments
Steven Cole
1. scole66
That was a ... trailer for the trailer? How utterly meta. Are trailer-trailers getting common now? (I.e.: have I been living under a rock?)
Scott Silver
2. hihosilver28
@scole66
Unfortunately yes. I believe Prometheus was the first to do a "countdown" to the trailer with 1-min behind the scences with 15 sec of footage, but since then they've become increasingly popular. I know that now Total Recall, Looper, and Iron Man 3 have all come out with trailer trailers. May it stop...please.
Steve G.
3. Steve G.
Where is the trailer for the trailer trailer?
Shelly wb
4. shellywb
@Steve G: It's so meta, we're living it.
Scott Silver
5. hihosilver28
Sweet jumpin jehosephat, the trailer is out and, DAMN that looks epic!
Steve G.
6. wizard clip
Hmmm, sounds rather similar to what Christopher Nolan did with Ras al Ghul, detaching him from his middle eastern origins and turning him into Liam Neeson.
Scott Silver
7. hihosilver28
I think a big part of that was also laid down in the first movie, when Stark was being held by the ten rings in Afghanistan.
Steve G.
8. tigeraid
The good: we finally get to see Tony Stark against his greatest nemesis.

The bad: his greatest nemesis is a Chinese man being played by a white British guy. Thx Hollywood.
Grady Hendrix
9. GradyHendrix
The Mandarin's origins explained: a racist stereotype!

I'm sorry, but The Mandarin is beyond redemption. His roots are so polluted by race-hate that you cannot rehabilitate him. It would be like trying to rehabilitate Stephin Fetchit.

The Fu Manchu stereotype was born of white hatred and fear of Chinese immigration and geopolitical power, and that's as deep as it gets. You cannot pretend it's something else.

There were an unlimited number of bad guys who could have been used for this role: not sure why Marvel went for its most racially charged and unappealing.

(It took me about five seconds to think of any number of even cooler bad guys who could have fit this role: Count Nefaria and the Maggia along with his daughter, Madame Masque, have been huge parts of Iron Man's history, as have AIM which would have given us a big-screen MODOK which I think everyone can agree would be awesome. The Controller has never been used that well but is ripe for a revamp, and The Ghost has become a big part of the Marvel Universe recently, plus he'd look awesome onscreen. And why not the most recent evil genius bad guy, The Hood? Or Sunset Bain? Or a revamped Spymaster? The point is, it didn't NEED to be The Mandarin.)
Steve G.
10. Muswell
In the UK, Mandarins are senior civil servants. Perhaps Marvel are just going somewhere really, really different with this film...
Grady Hendrix
11. GradyHendrix
Ben Kingsley...IS...the Under Secretary of State for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs.

"I am not a terrorist...I am a teacher...of rural land management strategies and water partnership opportunities."

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