06 Jun 2016 1:32 PM +00:00 UTC

Shane Black Defends Iron Man 3’s Mandarin Twist Against Haters

Iron Man 3 is a good film in many respects, and while that is true, there's one bad thing about the 2013 movie that many fans would agree to – the twist at the end regarding Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley. In the comics as well as in the movie's trailers, the Mandarin was portrayed as an intimidating villain, and fans were underwhelmed when the character turned out to be some low-rate actor hired to pretend to be a terrorist.

Apparently though, director Shane Black thinks the twist had been a great way to end the movie. In fact, he thinks the movie did its job "a bit too well.

In an interview with IGN, Black explained why he thought the Mandarin works so well. He said:

We may have done our job a bit too well in a way because we succeeded in actually having a surprise in the middle of a big summer movie where you normally know virtually everything about it before you go in. And when I say we did our job too well it meant some of the fans felt fooled.
They felt I think that they'd been led down one path and then sold a bill of goods. It's hard. Because I want to please the fans... but in this case I thought and we all thought that it was just a very interesting and very layered decision to take the Mandarin [in].

He added that he would do it again given a chance to make the same movie, saying in the end how he can't just please everyone:

The minute you start to govern your creative impulses based on anticipation of someone else's response or their expectations then you're going to fail.
You're going to fail them too.

Well, the filmmaker does have a valid point. In the movie's context, the twist certainly gave fans a surprise that you'd never expect from seeing the trailers, unlike how other film trailers spoiled just about every juicy part of a film.

However, it's interesting to note how a year after Iron Man 3, Marvel Studios released the short film/action Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King in order to fix the backlashagainst the movie's portrayal of the villain. If Black thinks the character worked so well, then why did Marvel have to make a follow-up short just to please fans.

While it's definitely hard to please every movie-going audience and fan, it cannot be denied that the audience's opinion does matter. Given enough disappointment, audiences' opinions might dissuade them from seeing a film, and it is the audiences who drive the movie industry.


Personally, while I liked the concept of a twist for Mandarin at the end of Iron Man 3, I would have preferred it if they showed a different kind of outcome for the character that didn't do a disservice to the villain.

What do you think about Shane Black's thoughts on the Mandarin twist?

Read: The Ridiculous Reason Why Marvel Scrapped Shane Black's Original Female Villain Storyline for Iron Man 3