Kevin Feige And Shane Black On IRON MAN 3's Twist; Reveal Mandarin's Role In IRON MAN

Kevin Feige And Shane Black On IRON MAN 3's Twist; Reveal Mandarin's Role In IRON MAN

Kevin Feige And Shane Black On IRON MAN 3's Twist; Reveal Mandarin's Role In IRON MAN

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and writer/director Shane Black talk more about Iron Man 3's big twist with you-know-who and the former even reveals the role that the villain would have played in 2008's Iron Man. [MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD]

If you haven't seen Iron Man 3 yet, stop reading now. If you have, you'll know that the Mandarin in the Marvel Studios threequel is in fact Guy Pearce's Aldrich Killian and not the decoy we saw Sir Ben Kingsley portraying in the trailers and TV spots (instead, he's revealed to be Trevor; a British actor with a serious substance problem). "Ultimately we do give you the Mandarin, the real guy, but it’s Guy Pearce in the end with the big dragon tattooed on his chest," director Shane Black tells Entertainment Weekly. "He says, ‘You don’t understand, I’ve been this guy since I was born. I’ve been embodying him in this [actor] that I’ve had proxying for me, but it’s really me.’" This decision has of course left some comic book fans seething; how does Kevin Feige feel about that? "It was nerve wracking," he confesses before adding why he thinks it's such a clever twist. "Shane really had a lot of great ideas about identity and about false faces and about anonymity."

As for how Black and co-writer Drew Pearce came up with the idea of the Mandarin being simply an idea created by Killian, the director added: "What if he’s sort of this all-things-to-all-people uber-terrorist? What if he is the myth, and in the end that is what we’re dealing with, a created myth that [a research group] has perpetuated and cobbled together using elements from popular consciousness. It felt like it said more about the world we live in than just having [Iron Man] fight another terrorist, as opposed to putting a spin on it that said something about the way we view terror, perhaps." When asked how they approached Marvel with such a controversial idea, he adds, "[It’s] okay to come up with these crazy things, these far out ideas...and they’ll fly. It’s just that the Marvel guys have to be in the room."

When talk turned to their initial ideas for the villain, Feige revealed that we would have seen a very different take on the Mandarin had he not been cut from Jon Favreau's Iron Man back in 2008. "He was in every Iron Man 1 script until about 10 weeks before we started filming. He was a contemporary of Tony Stark. He was younger. He was involved in business deals with [Stark.]" This means that the Mandarain would have been the one trying to secure Iron Man's weapon manufacturing capabilities and Jeff Bridge's Obidiah Stane would have been a sidekick of sorts to him. "We’d have revealed that Obadiah was the mole on the inside. But it did’t work. It didn’t work." Is this version one you guys would have preferred to see in Iron Man or Iron Man 3? Be sure to sound off with your thoughts in the usual place!

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?


Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man
Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin
Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
Don Cheadle as Rhodey/War Machine
Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian
Rebecca Hall as Dr. Maya Hansen
Ashley Hamilton as Jack Taggert
James Badge Dale as Eric Savin
Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan

RELEASE DATE: May 3rd, 2013 (US).

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