Shang-Chi writer Dave Callaham discussed rectifying the Iron Man 3 Mandarin twist.
Iron Man 3 remains one of the most polarizing entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Given that it was the introduction of Phase 2 and the first film set after the events of The Avengers, fans had a certain set of expectations for it, especially since it teased the introduction of one of Iron Man’s most iconic villains, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).
However, Iron Man 3 had an infamous twist that revealed that The Mandarin was actually an impostor portrayed by actor Trevor Slattery. This twisted disappointed many fans, but nearly a decade later, they would be introduced to Wenwu (Tony Leung), AKA the real Mandarin in Shang-Chi. Dave Callaham, co-writer of the film’s script revealed that the intention to bring back Ben Kingsley was planned out early on:
“I don’t remember most of how any of this originated… I will say I feel pretty confident saying we knew pretty early on that we’d like to make that attempt to get Trevor into the movie. I remember that being a pretty early idea because we love the character but also because, when we looked at what we knew we had to accomplish in terms of a character that in some way reflects the Mandarin.
So the only connective tissue we really had available to use was Trevor because Tony Stark is dead and there haven’t been a lot of other references to the Ten Rings. So it made sense narratively.”
Dave Callaham explained that bringing back Trevor Slattery wasn’t to course-correct the controversial Iron Man 3 Mandarin twist, but rather a natural decision that felt right for the story of Shang-Chi:
“I wouldn’t say we always knew from day one that the whole purpose of him was to ‘right a wrong.’ I think that came as we explored the idea, and after Destin had his somewhat famous call with Sir Ben and we knew we could actually get him. But we always hoped for it certainly.”
Bringing back Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery was a good call. Following his appearance in Iron Man 3 and the Marvel Studios One-Shot short film All Hail the King, seeing him in Shang-Chi was delightful, and his presence in the film helped promote the connective tissue that the franchise is known for while also not detracting too much from its main purpose of introducing the newest Avenger to audiences.
Here is the synopsis for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings:
“Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi in Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.”
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a script written by David Callaham, the upcoming Marvel film stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Kingsley and Tony Leung.
Shang-Chi and the Legend Of The Ten Rings is now in theaters everywhere. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of Disney Plus as we learn it and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.