As revealed at SDCC 2019, Shang Chi, Marvel’s master of kung fu, will be battling The Mandarin in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This is HUGE news, considering the controversy surrounding the villain’s first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2013.
The Mandarin is a classic Iron Man villain created by Stan Lee and Don Heck in 1964 as a sort-of Green Lantern ripoff to fight Stark and be a tie back to his origin in Vietnam. In the comics, he possesses ten rings, each with a different power – one that can freeze things, one that disintegrates things, one that changes gravity, one that makes shadows, etc. He became…fairly problematic…for later creators, who eventually tried to move away from the Yellow Peril origins of the character and focus on the technology behind the rings.
As we mentioned, this won’t be the Mandarin’s first time on the big screen. Or it is. It depends on how you look at it.
While The Ten Rings were the terrorist group in the MCU-launching Iron Man,the leader who appeared in that movie was Raza, a new creation for that film. Later, in Iron Man 3, a terrorist calling himself The Mandarin began making trouble for Tony, setting up Aldrich Killian’s AIM to stop him. It was revealed later in the film that The Mandarin was actually a stoned British actor named Trevor Slattery (played brilliantly by Sir Ben Kingsley). And in a re-re-swerve befitting the comics themselves, it was LATER revealed (in All Hail the King, a Marvel short released on the Thor: The Dark World home video release) that The Mandarin was real, was running The Ten Rings, and was extremely pissed off at Trevor. He was also mentioned offhandedly in Ant-Man but has not appeared in the MCU since.
That all changes with Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He will actually appear, played by Tony Leung (Hero, The Grandmaster), and presumably be the villain that Shang Chi has to take down.
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more!
Read and download the Den of Geek SDCC 2019 Special Edition Magazine right here!