Um… spoilers for Iron Man 3, which you’ve either seen by now or been spoiled on already, so I’m going to talk freely about the big reveal. I kind of have to, actually. Do I even need to put up the Spoiler Space picture for this one?
Rumors have been spreading for quite some time that the Marvel short for the Thor 2 Blu-ray would involve “the real Mandarin” and his anger at Trevor Slattery, the washed-up actor who’d been impersonating him. Fans held onto this believe despite the filmmakers saying they had no plans to “apologize” for the film’s twist. When word got out that the short would star Ben Kingsley, they were only encouraged.
Well, it looks like they were half-right.
All Hail the King, written and directed by Iron Man 3 writer Drew Pearce, will feature Kingsley’s Slatterly in Seagate prison, serving time for his less-real-than-first-believed part in the terrorist attacks and the subject of a documentary. Pearce talked to Entertainment Weekly about the short,
“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. 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.”
But it’s not quite as great as he’d like. And here’s where the fans who wanted to see the real Mandarin were half right. It seems the Ten Rings is a real thing, not something that Killian made up. He just kind of hijacked their name and iconography and they are pissed. Especially at this actor who claimed to be their leader.
“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.
“There’s lots of exposition in lots of different cuts of Iron Man 3 that, in the end, kind of got snubbed out. It’s kind of said in Iron Man 3 but very briefly, Aldrich essentially took a thing that was real, historically real and culturally real, and co-opted it for his own means — essentially co-opting an ancient terrorist concept. What [All Hail the King] does is show that everything in Iron Man 1 [involving the terrorist group] was canon all along any way.”
Seems like things could go badly for my favorite character from the film.
EW was also kind enough to post a few pictures from All Hail the King.