[If you haven't seen Iron Man 3 yet, stop reading this article] One of the best film twists in recent years was how Shane Black handled the reveal of the Iron Man’s arch-nemesis, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). It wasn’t just a hilarious surprise, but also a clear sign that Marvel was going to do what was best for their movie rather than try to work around fidelity to the comics (also, there wasn’t much complaining when Ben Kingsley was cast even though he’s not Chinese). Black and Marvel decided to have their Mandarin turn out to be an adorably clueless actor/drug-addict named Trevor Slattery. The character was originally supposed to die at the end of Iron Man 3, but thankfully they kept him around, and now it appears we’ll be seeing him again.
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Kingsley is currently doing the press rounds for Ender’s Game, and in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph [via The Playlist], he said he’s already shot “a secret Marvel project. I’m not allowed to say any more, you’re going to have to wait and see,” adding that many members of the Iron Man 3 crew were involved.
So let the speculation begin. My money is on a Marvel “One-Shot” short film since those are reasonably light, or at least lighter than the movies. The adventures of Trevor Slattery could work both before or after he got the Mandarin gig, and it would be fun to see him again either way. Sure, it’s a goofy supporting character, but that’s why the One-Shots are Blu-ray extras.
There’s also the possibility he could appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or a brief cameo in a future Marvel movie, but those put him back in the larger, on-going Marvel universe. But wherever he goes, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is keeping tight-lipped on the future. “I think it’ll be the middle of next year before we announce officially what the post-Ant Man films will be,” he told Movies.com. What’s in the middle of next year? Oh, right. Comic-Con. Let’s just get in line now.