Since Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was announced it came with the promise that the “Real Mandarin” would finally be making his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After Iron Man 3’s version of the character didn’t sit right with some audience members, Marvel Studios quickly backtracked on that being the final say on the comic book villain, turning him into Shang-Chi’s father for the upcoming movie. In the film, legendary Hong Kong actor Tony Leung takes on the part opposite Simu Liu and speaking during the film’s red carpet premiere in Hollywood, Kevin Feige says you’re not ready for what happens.
“We talked about Simu, but also talking about Tony Leung, you mention the family aspect of the movie which I still don’t think people are quite ready for what Tony brings to this movie and what the relationship and how unique it is and how emotional this movie becomes,” Feige teased to Marvel.com. This marks the latest talking point from someone at the House of Ideas that the version of the comic book character is something new and fresh when compared to what has been on screen already.
“Our version of the character is not The Mandarin in the way that people are expecting him to be,” Writer David Callaham told Empire Magazine. “‘The Mandarin’ is a title that has been applied to him in the past by people that don’t understand his culture. But he’s a much deeper character than I think a lot of people would expect.”
It’s unclear if the name “The Mandarin” will be spoken out loud in the film, but Marvel’s confirmation that Sir Ben Kingsley will appear in the film means it most likely will. Kingsley as you recall played actor Trevor Slattery aka the “Fake” Mandarin in Iron Man 3. In Shang-Chi, Leung’s The Mandarin will go by Wenwu in the film.
“It was for me the part of the Shang-Chi comics that I personally really connected to,” Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton added. “It was really important for us to find the root of that anger and that pain. That was the goal from the get-go, and probably the number one fear of all of us was creating a Mandarin that was further contributing to the ‘Yellow Peril’ type of stereotypes that are still flying around.”
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings will debut in theaters on September 3rd.