In 2013’s Iron Man 3 we found out the Mandarin wasn’t who we’d expect, and in a new Marvel ‘One-shot’ short film coming in February we’re going to find out more about the idiosyncratic personality.
On February 25 Marvel will release Thor: The Dark World on home video, and in the Blu-ray edition there will be a new Marvel One-Shot entitled “All Hail The King.” This new short film sees Ben Kingsley reprise his role as Trevor Slattery, the man hired to play the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, living out his dreams of celebrity while imprisoned inside one of Marvel’s most famous prisons, Seagate.
“When we find Trevor at the beginning of this short, other than Tony, he’s the only one out of Iron Man 3 to get what he wanted,” says Iron Man 3 screenwriter Drew Pearce, who wrote and directed this short. “And even though he was arrested and beat up and had guns pointed at him, now he’s the celebrity that he always wanted to be and he loves it. He absolutely loves it. He is living a somewhat curtailed version of the celebrity life, but he’s also leading arguably a better life than he did when he was living with, like, four other actors at the age of 52 in some bedsit in the south of London. That’s the other fun thing about the starting point is that when we meet Trevor in the short, Trevor won. The Mandarin didn’t, but Trevor in his own way was victorious.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, “All Hail The King” sees the would-be Mandarin entertaining an interview with a documentary filmmaker (played by Scott McNary) about being the public face of a terrorist organization as seen in the events of Iron Man 3. The short film promises to delve further into the mystery of the Ten Rings organization and the truth behind the Mandarin, as well as delve into Flattery’s backstory as an actor – including scenes from an in-story 1980s television series done in the vein of Miami Vice and Magnum P.I.
“It was a Magnum P.I. rip-off pilot by CBS in 1985 and it was absolutely Trevor’s big break, a KGB agent private eye let loose on Los Angeles, partly there to clean up the Russian mafia in Los Angeles, partly there because of the dark secret in his past,” Pearce tells EW.
Pearce says that “All Hail The King” is the most ambitious and highest-funded out of all of the Marvel One-Shots so far; enough to enlist a surprise cameo from one of the stars of the recent The Hangover film trilogy: Crystal, the campuchin. Pearce says the campuchin will appear in the scenes from Caged Heat in a “Russian hat, drinking vodka.”
Hit Monkey, perhaps? Maybe, maybe not.
Getting back to the big reveal of Iron Man 3 that Kingsley’s Mandarin was merely as an actor portraying what was said to be a fictional character inside the film, Pearce says that there’s more to the story.
“What [“All Hail the King”] does is show that everything in Iron Man 1 [involving the terrorist group] was canon all along any way. We kind of knew The Ten Rings were a real terrorist cell,” Pearce explains. “Imagine a real terrorist organization whose beliefs were long held and religious for thousands of years, and imagine a drunk, British actor coming along and essentially telling the world that he’s the face of your organization. I think they would be right to be quite angry.”
So despite revealing that Kingsley’s Slattery was merely an actor portraying the Mandarin, Pearce does say squarely that the Ten Rings organization itself is very real and has a history going back “thousands of years.” So could there be more to the story of the Mandarin? Could the real Mandarin please stand up?