Avengers: Endgame has altered the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s face. The six heroes who made up Earth’s Most Powerful Heroes, in the truest sense of the word, are all either gone or about to usher in their successors. So, Step 4 is going to mark a complete new start for the MCU in several respects.
But at least one of the great Marvel villains is coming back years after he was first hinted at.
In 2013’s “Iron Man 3.” Marvel teased the MCU version of Mandarin.
“The Avengers,” was a major box office success as the first MCU film released after “Iron Man 3”
But beyond that, fans were keen to see Tony Stark of Robert Downey Jr. take on his nemesis, The Mandarin.
The marketing of the film touted the reimagining of the character as the leader of the Ten Rings terrorist group by Oscar winner Ben Kingsley.
But – spoiler – the character of Kingsley turns out to be an actor named Trevor Slattery. His Mandarin is nothing more than a ruse by Aldrich Killian, a businessman (Guy Pearce).
Ultimately, this discovery has split MCU fans. Although some believe a remarkable twist was delivered by writer-director Shane Black, others – particularly comic book purists – felt misled by the misdirection.
It’s time for the MCU to finally revive this forgotten villain, now that Tony Stark is gone.
The “real” Mandarin has not yet arrived at the MCUU,
Marvel Studios, perhaps influenced by this reaction, has agreed to do a little retconning. Instead of making the final word for the character to be Killian’s fake Mandarin, the MCU introduced a new alternative.
The one-shot “All Hail the King” from Marvel in 2014 shows that the true Mandarin is still at large.
And what’s more, he’s not too happy to be sullied by his name.
The former mentor of Tony Stark, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), employed the Ten Rings to kidnap Stark in Iron Man, after all.
But as an organization, the presence of the Ten Rings implies that the Mandarin itself is still out there.
And the fans had hoped, in the blink of an eye, that the MCU would really take on Mandarin. Of course, now it’ll be without the presence of Iron Man.
Star Jonathan Majors of ‘Lovecraft Land’ has just entered the MCU as the next big villain,
In ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,’ the Mandarin lands
Fans finally know a little bit about how Marvel is going to treat the Mandarin this time around as Phase 4 approaches.
The character in ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ will be played by Tony Leung – best known for working with director Wong Kar-wai (2021). The movie will pit Marital Arts hero Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) against the organization previously seen in the MCU, judging by the title.
The specifics of the plot for the film by director Destin Daniel Cretton have not yet been confirmed.
In the MCU, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings could also be set earlier, as all fans know.
Black Widow, after all, is playing between previous films already.
Could the reappearance of Mandarin pursue a similar path? And if so, may we see Trevor Slattery exacting vengeance on him?