Everyone thought the MCU was done with the Mandarin character after Iron Man 3, but they’re bringing the character (at least, the real Mandarin) back for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Veteran Chines superstar Tony Leung has been cast in the role, and director Destin Daniel Cretton talks a bit about the film’s take on the character.
Talking to The Observer, Cretton explained, “I think [Leung] brings a humanity that we need for that character… We are not looking to contribute anymore to the Asian stereotypes that we have seen both in cinema and pop culture. We’re hoping to just show some different sides to both Asian-Americans and Chinese-Americans and Mainland Chinese characters. [Tony] is such an incredible actor and I’m excited to have him help us break some of those stereotypes because that villain could easily become a punchline.”
In the comics, Mandarin was considered the nemesis of Iron Man, seeing that he had the magic to test the technological prowess of Tony Stark. They rewrote him into a terrorist leader for the MCU but ended up botching the character in the end when he was revealed to be an actor in some convoluted ruse.
The short All Hail the King which came out in 2014 actually teased the real Mandarin, but we never got to see that turn into anything after all this time. Hopefully, the MCU decides to build on that short and bring Ben Kingsley back, because even if his character was a travesty to the comic version, I still thought ”Trevor” was a lot of fun.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set to hit theaters on Feb. 12, 2021.