'Iron Man 3' Writer Isn't Worried About Mandarin's Reintroduction In 'Shang-Chi'

One of the biggest announcements to emerge from Marvel's Comic-Con presentation was for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Not only is the kung-fu master finally joining the MCU, but he's already been cast with unknown actor Simu Liu taking the role, joined by Awkwafina and Hong Kong superstar Tony Leung as villain The Mandarin. There's just one minor hiccup: the Mandarin has already been introduced in Iron Man 3. Sorta.

If you haven't seen Iron Man 3 by now then I'm sorry, but a spoiler is indeed coming. See, in that film, a con man named Trevor Slattery (played beautifully by Ben Kingsley) posed as Mandarin, leader of a global terrorist organization known as the Ten Rings. He was eventually exposed, captured, and thrown into prison, only for us to find out later that the Mandarin is a real villain who is out there biding his time.

That film's writer, Drew Pearce, spoke with Cinemablend and talked about Mandarin's reintroduction, the character's history as an ugly Asian stereotype, and what the future could hold for the supervillain...

“You know, and there are modern interpretations of The Mandarin that I think can work in the context of, particularly of a Marvel movie that has a much more grounded basis in Asian culture and has, frankly, Asian filmmakers and other Asian actors in its ensemble, and driving the story,” said the filmmaker.

"In our ‘Iron Man’ movie, as you and everyone else knows, it was my feeling that if we did The Mandarin in many of the forms that he is most commonly known as, we were playing into the racial stereotypes that generated the character in the beginning. Yellow peril, you know. … That idea was what inspired our take on the Mandarin.”

“I’ve also spoken to some of my friends at Marvel and of course I don’t know exactly what happens, but there’s a strong sense that everything will be revealed and nothing is being retconned. And that, at the end of the day, is all we can ask for. That, and the fact that, you know, they clearly think it’s going to be — he’s going to be the best adversary. And I trust in Marvel. In Marvel, we trust.”

Pearce and director/co-writer Shane Black already laid a pretty strong foundation for Mandarin, so there's no reason for Marvel to ignore any of it. Here's hoping Slattery gets a cameo, even if it's just for the Mandarin to kill him.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens February 12th 2021, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.