Back before the insanely cosmic stakes of the likes of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe used to deal with villains such as Trevor Slattery.
Slattery, portrayed by a delightfully clueless Ben Kingsley in Iron Man 3, was the actor hired by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) to portray the Mandarin — a terrorist who seems to be the film’s main antagonist.
As the movie eventually reveals, the Mandarin is nothing more than a character played by Slattery, who is actually just a very drunk, out-of-work English actor — or at least so we thought.
Given that the Mandarin is one of the more prominent villains in the Iron Man comics, fans were justifiably upset for having the rug pulled out from under them when they thought Kingsley, an Academy Award-winning actor, was playing the iconic villain.
However, just because Slattery wasn’t the Mandarin does not mean that the Mandarin does not exist in the MCU, as revealed by the Marvel Studio’s one-shot “All Hail the King”.
As it turns out, the Mandarin and the terrorist organization Ten Rings are very real, were quite angry with Mr. Slattery, and apparently are still going to play a role in the MCU going forward.
In a recent AMAA (Ask Me Almost Anything) on Reddit, Kevin Feige — the Nick Fury of Marvel Studios — confirmed that both the Mandarin and the terror organization Ten Rings will be a presence in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
Q: Without going ino to details about developing projects, are there any plans to incorporate the Ten Rings from the first Iron Man, or the “real” Mandarin teased in “All Hail the King” in the future?
Now, because the Mandarin and Ten Ring first appeared in the now-concluded Iron Man franchise, where they’ll pop up next is anyone’s guess.
But given their track record of meticulous plotting and cinematic universe-planning, we’re going to just take Marvel Studios at their word on this one.