[[wysiwyg_imageupload:2278:]]As revealed at the San Diego Comic Con this weekend, the big-bad in Iron Man 3 will be the Mandarin, as portrayed by actor Ben Kingsley (see below).
The yin to Tony Stark’s yang, the Doom to his Reed Richards, the Luthor to his Superman, the Mandarin is the natural choice as villain for this film, and it already has goers to the SDCC excited.
So who is the Mandarin? Glad you asked!
Created by Stan Lee (natch!) and Don Heck, this rogue’s father was one of the wealthiest men in pre-revolutionary China (and a descendant of Genghis Khan to boot), while his mother was an English noblewoman. Their son was born in an unnamed village in mainland China, the boy's parents dying soon after his birth. He was raised by his paternal aunt, who was embittered against the world and raised him with much the same attitude.
Every last bit of the family fortune was spent obsessively training the youngster who would become the Mandarin in science and combat, with the result that he was completely broke upon reaching adulthood. Unable to pay the taxes on his ancestral home, the Mandarin was evicted by the government.
Hoping to find a means of avenging himself upon the civilization that had taxed him and rendered him homeless, the Mandarin explored the forbidden “Valley of Spirits,” where no one had dared to set foot for centuries. There he found the skeleton and starship of Axonn-Karr, an intelligent dragon-like alien from the planet Maklu IV, who had come to Earth centuries ago and died.
Over the following years, the Mandarin studied Makluan science until he mastered it. He also learned how to use the 10 rings he found within the starship which were apparently its propulsion source, among other things. The Mandarin then became a conqueror and subjugated the villages around the Valley, and, through his advanced science, rapidly became a power that not even the Chinese Army could successfully challenge. He then embarked on a long series of attempts to achieve world domination. The Chinese, though fearing him, asked for his help, but he would not become subservient to them.
The Mandarin sees technology as the surest means to achieve his goals. Over the years, he has frequently attempted to turn the weapons of various nations against them. Among the Mandarin's earliest schemes is the sabotage and theft of American missiles and spy planes built by Tony Stark. To restore public confidence in his workmanship, Stark donned his Iron Man armor and flew to China to investigate. Iron Man soon became the Mandarin's principal obstacle and foe.
Having seen many versions of the villain from Marvel mags, I await with anxiety to see that which will be served up by the brilliant skills of Kingsley, who always brings such authenticity and authority to each of his drama/adventure roles.
Iron Man 3 is slated to have its USA release in May 2013.
Iron Man 3 blasts off May 3rd, 2013 directed by Shane Black and starring Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle.
Head on over to the Cosmic Book News The Avengers Movie Hub for more news, images and trailers.
Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy’s hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce and Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of Tales of Suspense (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with The Invincible Iron Man (#1) in May of 1968.
Iron Man 3 is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Stephen Broussard, Victoria Alonso, Alan Fine, Charles Newirth, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.