Well this is all getting mighty confusing as we try and piece together just exactly who it is Sir Ben Kingsley will be playing in director Shane Black’s Iron Man 3. Early rumours have said he would be playing The Mandarin, one of the most famous villains in the Iron Man universe, however Marvel are insistent that he isn’t.
For those unfamiliar with the comics, the Mandarin draws his power from ten mystical rings. The “ten rings” have been mentioned in passing in the movies, but they’ve been reworked into a criminal organization. Presumably, Iron Man 3 is where the organization finally comes to the forefront. The Ten Rings were mentioned by name in the first act of Iron Man, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says the sequel will return to that part of the story, at least metaphorically:
“Metaphorically, we’re not going back to the cave there’s nothing like that, but we’ve always said let’s get Tony back to the cave, which is he’s stripped of everything, he’s backed up against a wall, and he’s gotta use his intelligence to get out of it”
It has been said that Kingsley would be playing the leader of a terrorist organisation who steal the Nanotechnology from scientist Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), however according to the Latino Review, they are reporting unconfirmed news that Kinglsey will indeed play the Mandarin. The rumours are that The Mandarin will be appearing in the film, although he will not be on screen as much as expected. Instead it will be Guy Pearce’s character, Aldrich Killian, who creates the Extremis virus and creating his ‘Extremis Army’ of multi-powered individuals. The Mandarin is expected to be the veiled threat behind the scenes, however Comic Book Movie also reports that The Mandarin has two characters that do his dirty work: “Mandarin had a set of twins that did most of his dirty work for him. Another source who had visited EUE/Screen Gems Studios told us that the sets they were building included Chinese storefronts”. Latino Review say this is not exactly true, however all the Chinese connections help point to The Mandarin as a villain.
Whether The Mandarin has this set of twins, or not, it sounds like both Eric Savin/ Coldblood (James Badge Dale) and Firepower (Ashley Hamilton) might be the super-powered individuals who use Killian’s Extremis project to get their power. However, even these rumours could well be false after news today shows James Badge Dale in a completely different role, read on…
The Iron Man suit has appeared so far as eight different versions, with Mark 1-Mark 7 and also War Machine appearing in all three Iron Man movies and The Avengers Assemble. Iron Man 3 is set to feature a brand new suit, Iron Patriot, but the big question is, who will be wearing it? The Iron Patriot is a red, white and blue suit that first appeared in 2009′s ‘Dark Avengers’, but it is not Tony Stark wearing it.
In a piece of news that affects the above about The Mandarin and his possible sidekicks, James Badge Dale, who has been reported to be playing Eric Savin/Coldblood, has now been spotted wearing the Iron Patriot suit. An image below confirms this, but now we are left with yet another lingering question: if Dale is wearing the Iron Patriot suit, does this now mean he is NOT appearing as Eric Savin/Coldblood?
Oh this is all getting rather confusing, and with the film now shooting, it would appear Marvel are attempting to go dark on the film until it nears its 3rd May 2012 release. All we can do for now, is speculate until some concrete confirmation comes through as to who the Hell is playing who!
By Matt Wavish