Iron Man fans and comic nerds rejoice! Ben Kingsley will be The Mandarin in Iron Man 3 after all. When Ben Kingsley was announced as a villain for Iron Man 3, speculation ran wild as to what character he would play. The Mandarin? MODOK? Evil Gandhi? Well, thanks to recently released footage and some set photos posted over at Entertainment Weekly, now we know for sure: it’s definitely the Mandarin. Or possibly Gimli. That is one serious beard, guys.
Apparently writer/director Shane Black has found the key to making the Mandarin less of a Chinese caricature: by making him not Chinese at all. Kingsley’s ethnically ambiguous Mandarin will likely be tied into the ethnically ambiguous Ten Rings group that captured Tony Stark way back in the original Iron Man. He'll presumably not fight Stark with jewelry made from the crashed spaceship of Fin Fang Foom either. Which brings up yet another question: when are we getting our long-awaited Fin Fang Foom movie? You know Andy Serkis has the mo-cap suit all ready to go.
Oh, and one more treat, a new teaser poster for the film, straight from Marvel Studios: