Shane Black Calls Mandarin "A Racist Caricature"; Confirms Return Of Actors For Iron Man 3!

In a far more detailed description of the "Shane Black Q&A" at Long Beach Comic Con, the director shares his thoughts on Mandarin, reveals which former cast members will return for Iron Man 3, comments on easter eggs, Stan Lee and more...

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By Josh Wilding - 10/30/2011
Thanks to Comic Book Resources, we have this detailed rundown of what director Shane Black had to say about helming 2013's Iron Man 3. There are a few comments which I'm sure many of you won't like all that much, although he does seem fairly enthusiastic about working on the project. Personally, I'm not too keen on what he seems to be planning for the movie, while the fact he was seemingly handpicked by Robert Downey Jr. is a little disconcerting as the last creative decision the actor made was getting Justin Theroux to pen the script for the underwhelming Iron Man 2! Anyway, here are a few highlights from the site, while you can read it in full by clicking on the link below.

Switching to “Iron Man 3,” Black admitted that ten years ago he would not have believed Marvel would ever make a movie about Iron Man, precisely because he was not that over-muscled stereotypical superhero. Outside of “Iron Man 3,” Black was also involved in the very first “Iron Man,” albeit in a very small way.

“Downey and Favreau came to my house and said, we need your help, and we talked for a few days. That was my participation on ‘Iron Man,’ we talked for a few days,” laughed Black. Uncertain why Favreau left the franchise, Black said that he felt it was most likely because Favreau just had other things he wanted to do. He also stated Downey Jr. was the one who called him to convince Black to jump on the film.

“Robert called me and said, ‘I have big plans for you!’” said Black as the audience laughed again. Though he at first planned to both write and direct the film, Black confessed he was surprised when he found out screenwriter Drew Pearce was going to write the script.

“All of a sudden I’m reading the paper and it’s like, Drew Pearce writing Iron Man! I went to work and said, ‘You guys, he’s British for Christ sakes!’” said Black, continuing, “But what happened was this great collaboration and friendship with this great, lovely British writer.”

“We decided that the villain was going to be the Melter – no, I’m kidding,” added Black as the audience laughed. The director continued, “That’s the problem, isn’t it? Iron Man never really had good villains.” When audience members suggested the Mandarin, Black dismissed it as a racist caricature. The director then said he was not going to divulge any detail about who the villain would be, stating that it was more satisfying to see the movie without knowing everything beforehand.

Touching on the second “Iron Man” movie, Black stated that while it was successful commercially, he believed it was critically ill received as the movie made a lot of “half choices” and that Stark was not a “proactive” hero in it.

“The middle of the movie is Tony Stark sitting around his house!” complained Black. Emphasizing high stakes as extremely important to a movie, Black said that in “Iron Man 3” he hoped to make bold choices and planned to set up multiple payoffs and reversals. He suddenly quizzed the audience on what a reversal was, and one audience member said it was an event or bit of information that shifted your perception.

“I love the tinker toy approach, I love having a set…really I’m just playing,” added Black.

The director then stated he loved “Thor,” to which the audience cheered and applauded. However, “I just keep going back to the Pixar things,” admitted Black with a laugh, citing “The Incredibles” as “Brilliant.”

Opening the floor to audience questions, the first audience member to the microphone jokingly asked if “Iron Man 3” takes place at Christmas, like so many of Black’s other films.

“I wouldn’t rule it out,” said Black as the audience laughed.

The next audience member asked Black whether he preferred practical effects or digital ones and Black said that at this point CG often looks more real than the practical effects, explaining that Iron Man’s real armor looks faker onscreen than the CGI version. “These movies are so hard because you don’t know until two weeks before you come out what they are going to look like,” said Black.

Going back to “Iron Man 3” Black told the audience that he requested that director Jon Favreau return as Happy Hogan in the film. “I love him as an actor,” said Black as the audience cheered. He also revealed that outside of a few references, “Iron Man 3” would not involve the Avengers and would focus squarely on Tony Stark.

“We really want to make it Tony’s movie,” said Black. The director also confirmed that Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle would return as Pepper Potts and Rhoades, respectively. A female audience member asked if the rumor that Black Widow was returning to the film was true.

“I’ll check the script and see if that’s in there,” said Black as the audience laughed.

Turning to the next audience question, Black said he felt Downey Jr. was perfect to play Tony Stark. “Tony is so indelibly Robert,” said Black. “Robert and I share a voice…if I leave a line open, he’ll supply the ending because we both tend to go to the same place with our characters.”

The same audience member wanted to then know if there was a particular “Iron Man” run that will influence “Iron Man 3.”

“I like the storyline where he was rich and there was a villain and then he wins,” said Black as the audience laughed. He added that he went back and read a lot of Iron Man comics as research for the film but, “I cannot speak about the particulars of Iron Man,” said Black.

While poking fun at Marvel Studios for stretching their budgets to the limits, Black said that Marvel has been good to him, naming Marvel Studio’s Kevin Feige as “terrific.”

“What’s not to like other than a paycheck?” joked Black and the audience laughed. The director added that there will be a Stan Lee cameo in the film, but he does not know what yet. “It will correspond to his schedule, but I don’t know,” said Black, adding that the “Easter egg stuff” was the last thing on his mind when making the film.





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118 Comments
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Anthrax - 10/30/2011, 3:19 PM
wtf is it with this guy and saying ‘You guys, he’s British for Christ sakes!’”
PaulRom - 10/30/2011, 3:25 PM
Hope Mandarin's in this, if this is the final Iron Man film then his arch-nemesis definitely needs to appear. Otherwise, save him for Iron Man 4 if it's made.
RunDTC - 10/30/2011, 3:42 PM
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was enough to convince me he's right for the job.
Anthrax - 10/30/2011, 3:44 PM
@GDSG ugh i can see it NOO!
PartyHard - 10/30/2011, 3:45 PM
Mandarin sucks as a villain. Ghost is the only good villain Iron Man has, and is definitely the one they should use.
PaulRom - 10/30/2011, 3:45 PM
@brazilianbatman RDJ signed up for only three Iron Man films, and we've heard nothing about his signing up for any more after IM3. But I guess that can change.
kurekurcubic - 10/30/2011, 3:45 PM
why would this be last iron man????????????????????????
Supes17 - 10/30/2011, 3:46 PM
Ghost would be a cool secondary villain
kurekurcubic - 10/30/2011, 3:46 PM
robert already said that after iron man 3-they are going to negotiate again.and i can bet my dick that they will give him what he wants
RadicalDuck - 10/30/2011, 3:47 PM
‘You guys, he’s British for Christ sakes!’ - and what, pray, is that supposed to fricking mean?!
PaulRom - 10/30/2011, 3:50 PM
@kurekurcubic Oh I remember now, it was here where he said about that they'll renegotiate. http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/MarvelFreshman/news/?a=38929 Thanks for the reminder.
Squaremaster316 - 10/30/2011, 3:53 PM
Why not, the first two Iron Men basically had a black sidekick who's job was to frown and say "damn, sh*t and that is whack" for two hours.
Bodwulf - 10/30/2011, 3:53 PM
When he said he loved Thor he gained instant credability
genesis609 - 10/30/2011, 3:59 PM
why did nobody have the balls to say.... well u know if theres no mandarin alot of people will be pissed? give the people what they want, not what u think is best.... asshole
superpooper - 10/30/2011, 4:06 PM
Oh no he DIDN'T!! No Mandarin? Blowin it.
MatchesMalone1989 - 10/30/2011, 4:10 PM
ARMOR WARS!!!!

Sorry but if they do more Iron Man movies after this they need to change up the cast. RDJ is already 46. I don't want to see a tony stark with make up on to make him look young. And I don't want to see CGI on his face either. Oh yeah and

ARMOR WARS!!!!!
BManBWG89 - 10/30/2011, 4:13 PM
@genesis609 yeah because what we want is always for the best. Do you remember how many people wanted a Wolverine movie? Look how that ended up. I would trust someone who makes good movies and is a professional over a fanboy who'll be "pissed" if his favorite bad guy isn't in the movie.
CaptainOtter - 10/30/2011, 4:14 PM
Early Mandarin is, yeah, a pretty blatant racist caricature. But I think he has evolved alot from that initial portrayal, even if I don't think anyone has really perfected him in a way Dr. Doom or Loki are established. I would like to see the movie try and create that perfect take on him.
jazzman - 10/30/2011, 4:14 PM
WTF they better introduce Mandarin.

‘You guys, he’s British for Christ sakes!’ - so he believe at first british writers cant write a comic book movie.
BIGBMH - 10/30/2011, 4:14 PM
I watched the Extremis motion comic recently. Taking out the origin retelling, it seems like a great basis for the third movie. Maybe they could use the newest armor as a basis for the MCU Extremis armor.



You could also possibly combine the stories having a person use Extremis in order to be able to wield the rings.
RainbowRaider - 10/30/2011, 4:16 PM
What about ''credibility''? Does he have any of that? I love Thor too but this guy is still a straight up clown. Tony is sitting in the middle of his house? Yeah, he's also having a poignant scene where he reflects on his father, the strength he gave him, and the realization that he hasn't come this far alone in the first place and he needs help. I'll take character development over empty suspense any day. I half blame all of you fans who just can't grasp anything unless it's spelled out for you. All the Marvel movies were rich with these special moments and still you guys complain about things that aren't anywhere near as important.
MaddMonkk - 10/30/2011, 4:19 PM
No Mandarin No Movie! I said it 3 times I didn't want salmon!
supersoldier623 - 10/30/2011, 4:20 PM
IRONMAN 3 NEEDS THE MANDARIN....HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FIRST ONE TO START WITH....HOPEFULLY SHANE BLACK DOES A WELL JOB WITH IT
rnewbz - 10/30/2011, 4:20 PM
@RanibowRiader- True statement

In regards to the article in general, I think its more rascist to to deny the bringing a perfectly good Asian villian into the film and adapting him. He hasn't been a caricature in years and he has alot of potential. It's like he's saying its impossible to conceive of any possible way of updating him beyond caricature.
PartyHard - 10/30/2011, 4:21 PM
Why does anyone even like Mandarin? He's a terrible villain and a racist caricature. He hasn't been in any good story arcs ever, because he's as cliched as you can possibly be.
Bodwulf - 10/30/2011, 4:21 PM
Mandarin,Iron Man,Shane Black
BasedThanos - 10/30/2011, 4:22 PM
Mandarin better be in this [frick]ing movie. All I'm gonna say. Feige, do something about this WTF!!!
Fans have been waiting long enough.
MatchesMalone1989 - 10/30/2011, 4:22 PM
ARMOR WARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TayDee - 10/30/2011, 4:33 PM
The Mandarin wouldn't work yet; if they would've talked about him in IM2 then it would wok. But just putting him in the movie with magical rings isn't gonna make him a great villain. What they did in IM1 is perfect in how they hinted him, but completely ignoring him in the 2nd movie and all of a sudden putting him in the third would've been stupid to me
marvel72 - 10/30/2011, 4:37 PM
armour wars would be f*ckin awesome,i would like to see the mandarin but if his not in it,so be it.
jjmeylar - 10/30/2011, 4:44 PM
As much as I'd love to see Mandarin, I hope that he leaves him out and puts good ol' Arthur Parks in there. Oh yeah! I want some Living Lazer action in this film!
rlkjets130 - 10/30/2011, 4:45 PM
im convinced this is him just deflecting the question, i think mandarin is the villain, he just doesnt wanna reveal that yet, which im cool with.
DioFoRio - 10/30/2011, 4:46 PM
@tayde I saw what you did there "talked about him in IM2 then it would wok."
PartyHard - 10/30/2011, 4:47 PM
@patrickbateman47
Except Mandarin has never evolved as a character ever. He's never been well written. He's just completely bland on all fronts. I'd rather watch Iron Man fight Ghost, who looks way cooler, and actually has a real motivation for doing what he does, and can challenge Tony on his whole belief system. It would lead to a much more in depth and interesting confrontation. Mandarin is just some evil guy trying to take over the world. It's [frick]ing boring and it will be the third time we will have seen it by the time the movie comes out. His take over the world attempt will just seem stale compared to Loki's. Ghost's whole destroy all the corporations scheme will still be fresh, because something way different, and something only Tony can deal with.
theperm - 10/30/2011, 4:47 PM
a Chinese Tony Stark as the villain. That would be interesting. I think there could be flexibility on what the Mandarin is and what he looks like. He just has to wear green.
heisei24 - 10/30/2011, 4:50 PM
the member of ten ring is Afghan people in IM.Isn't that racist too? Oh well,hopefully FFF is somewhere in MCU
TayDee - 10/30/2011, 4:52 PM
Dionysios - LOL that was honestly an accident. I was typing fast and they don't have an edit button anymore
bhorwith22 - 10/30/2011, 4:56 PM
[IMG]http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/3633/mandarinh.jpg[/IMG]
Ahem...
TheRealEnrico - 10/30/2011, 4:57 PM
@TayDee If you know anything about the character Mandarin then you would know that his rings are in fact not magic and are alien tech.

The problem is no body even knows about the character(or at least on this site).
DioFoRio - 10/30/2011, 5:00 PM
they should just make him Korean.Call him the Koreadin...boom...done...Beat it
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