Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings writer David Callaham and director Destin Daniel Cretton have said that the film’s version of The Mandarin won’t be what fans expect.
The Mandarin is a Marvel antagonist with a strange history in live-action. Before being revealed for Shang-Chi, the character was an Iron Man antagonist in the comics who used his magical ten rings to battle against the longtime hero. His character was first referenced in the first Iron Man film when a terrorist organization known as The Ten Rings kidnapped him and set the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe into motion.
The character was seen in the flesh for the first time in Iron Man 3, played by Sir Ben Kingsley. That version, however, turned out to be just an actor, who was playing a role in an elaborate con job by the film’s actual antagonist, Aldrich Killian. Kingsley reprised the role for the Marvel One-Shot, All Hail The King where Kingsley’s character was captured by agents of the real Mandarin but the story was never followed upon.
Now, at last, fans will be able to see a real version of The Mandarin in live-action played by Tony Leung. While speaking to Empire Magazine, Shang-Chi’s writer, David Callaham, said that the version of the character that we will screen will not be what fans expect:
“Our version of the character is not The Mandarin in the way that people are expecting him to be. ‘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.”
Director Destin Daniel Cretton echoed this statement by also saying that they were not trying to have the character fall into certain east Asian stereotypes:
“It was for me the part of the Shang-Chi comics that I personally really connected to. 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.”
What do you all make of the creative team’s words? Do you think a direct comic to screen version of The Mandarin would work for Shang-Chi? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Here is the synopsis for Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings:
“Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi in Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. Shang-Chi must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization.”
Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton from a script written by David Callaham, the Marvel film stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Ronny Chieng, and Dallas Liu. The upcoming film will hit theaters on September 3, 2021.
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Source: Empire Magazine