You will remember back in 2013 when Ben Kingsley was teased as the villain of Iron Man 3 playing the villainous Mandarin, a frequent enemy of Iron Man in the comics and user of the 10 Rings. Of course, that wasn’t quite the case when the movie revealed that this version of the “Mandarin” was actually a hired actor named Trevor Slattery. However, despite how that all unfolded, it seems Ben Kingsley is returning to the MCU in the upcoming film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to reprise his role as Slattery.
Recently, Kingsley attended the red carpet event for Shang-Chi where he had a chat with Entertainment Tonight where he had this to say:
“As you just saw, I was talking to Kevin Feige. And thanks to Kevin and Robert Downey Jr. and Drew Pearce and Shane Black, I am in this movie and I’m a member of the Marvel family because their welcome on Iron Man 3 was so astonishing and generous that I’m still with Marvel again. And I’m delighted to be here!”
While it is not much to go on, it sounds like his connection to the actual Mandarin will be explored in what we assume would have to be more than likely a cameo of sorts, especially after what we saw in Kingsley’s final appearance as Trevor Slattery in the 2014 MCU short film ‘All Hail the King‘.
Fans expressed mixed reactions to Shane Black’s Iron Man 3. The movie did well financially but storywise, audiences and fans alike felt confused by Ben Kingsley’s misleading role as the Mandarin and Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian taking credit as the mastermind behind him. Later, in Marvel’s 2014 one-shot ‘All Hail the King‘, it was revealed that there really is a Mandarin villain in the MCU somewhere out there and he was quite offended by Trevor Slattery impersonating him.
In the upcoming film, Simu Liu stars as the titular Shang-Chi who is the son of a man named Wenwu (played by Tony Leung) who acts as the movie’s villain and the head of the Ten Rings organization (as well as the user of the actual 10 Rings). Presumably, Wenwu is the real Mandarin and the one who had Slattery kidnapped in the 2014 short film.
Whether or not Kingsley’s character will appear in a cameo as a prisoner of the Mandarin or if he will have a more significant role is unclear but we won’t have long to find out. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is out in less than a month from now on September 3rd and all our questions should be answered then. And we can’t wait.