What was once a rumor has now been officially confirmed: Ben Kingsley will reprise his role as the Mandarin from Iron Man 3 for a short film included on the DVD/Blu-ray release of Thor: The Dark World titled All Hail the King, due out on February 25. The short picks up where Iron Man 3 left off, as it follows Mandarin--better known as a comical and meandering British actor hired to pretend to be one of the world's most fearless terrorists--as he enjoys the celebrity life he always wanted behind bars.
The short, which was written and directed by Iron Man 3 writer Drew Pearce, is framed around a documentary that's following Mandarin in prison and tracking the aftermath of the events that transpired in the film. Ah, but in typical Marvel fashion, not all is as it seems, and while this version of the Mandarin wasn't real, his character was based on the very real terrorist organization that was set up in the first Iron Man.
As Pearce says, "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. We kind of knew The Ten Rings were a real terrorist cell."
So will this short serve as the setup for a potential Iron Man 4? Pearce notes, "Oh, it couldn’t possibly. [Laughs.] I think short movies in general, whether they’re Marvel ones or not, you kind of want them to feel like they’re opening you up to a bigger world. Yeah, I definitely think there are – the non-spoiler way for me to say it — by the end of the short, there are definitely a lot of exciting other places that are brought up in it that could then go in the Marvel universe. You know, whether that’s an Iron Man movie or another one going into Phase Two or Three
You can read more of the interview with Pearce over at EW, including a bit about an old awesome-sounding '80s TV show that makes an appearance in All Hail the King.
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