Monday, April 16, 2012

"Iron Man 3" Shoots In China

This is getting interesting.

The big question-mark of the "Iron Man" franchise (before anyone knew about The Avengers plans, at least) was always how it was going to deal with the fact that the character's most (only, really) noteworthy villain was The Mandarin; a villain who while interesting in his own right is pretty-much a "Yellow Peril" caricature left over from the hero's heyday as a Cold War commie-smasher.

The first film teased his existance with a terrorist cell called "The Ten Rings" (Mandarin augments his "magic" with borrowed alien technology housed in ten rings) whose leader was obsessed with Ghengis Khan. Sir Ben Kingsley (who is half Indian and has played Eastern characters in Ghandi and Prince of Persia, among others) has evidently been cast as IM3's main heavy, though Marvel was quick to say that he was NOT playing The Mandarin.

BUT then the casting-call went out for Asian and Middle-Eastern extras, and now the film is going to the trouble of lensing in mainland China, so it's not too difficult to imagine some element of that will come into play. It's possible to do versions of dated characters like The Mandarin and make them work - David Lo-Pan is a memorable example, though that was 20 years ago...

13 comments:

Eze said...

Sounds promising. I'm still waiting for the confirmation of the movie appearance....of Fin Fang Foom. If it happens, sign me up definitely.

R said...

How to do the Mandarin for modern times: cast a chinese actor as the villain, call him the Mandarin, DON'T write a racist script.

Its not hard. Just don't make out that he is evil because he is chinese, instead make it clear that he is an evil dude who just happens to be chinese. Easy peasy.

Brendan said...

The problem with this theory is that Shane Black, the director, seems to have personally shot down Mandarin, calling him a "racist caricature."

See here: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=35196

Aiddon said...

I lost interest in the series after having to slog through 2's tepid narrative. No sell

Sylocat said...

@R:

If you wanted to write a non-racist version of the Mandarin, you'd have to throw out pretty much everything about him in the comics, and by that time why not just use someone else?

You know, I'm wondering if Iron Man could be the one superhero movie franchise without an ARCH-nemesis, where he just fights a different bad guy every movie and no one person gets the spotlight. Just for the sake of variety.

biomechanical923 said...

I'm not a reader of the Iron Man comics.... but can somebody explain to me why they didn't just remove the shrapnel in his chest rather than keeping him on some complicated magnet?

Anonymous said...

@biomechanical923: Yeah, I never really got that either. Yes, Yinsen had to do the best he could doing invasive, life saving surgery, in a damn cave no less. I know the inevitable response will be "but if they remove the aRC recator, Tony will die!" However, the reactor had briefly been completely removed from his chest about 3 to 5 times over the the over the course of both films combined and Tony did not die and only experienced visibly severe physical distress once (when Stane took it by force). Tony has access to the best medical care in the world. If he had decided to keep a secret identity, then I would understand him being unable to seek outside medical attention for his condition, but that was thrown to the wind by the end of the first movie. So, what am I missing?

Anonymous said...

*ARC reactor

Lee Kalba said...

Possibly corporate espionage. If they removed the reactor to perform surgery, how difficult would it be for a rival company to bribe a nurse or something like that, to get their hands on the reactor?
I know they don't spell it out, but it is logical.

Cyrus said...

They might just take what still works about the character, along with the ring gimmick and don't call him the Mandarin. The previous movies didn't really do verbatim copies of their comic book counterparts either.

Joe said...

I have to wonder how films like The Dark Knight and Real Steel can get away with watered-down Yellow Peril villains, but Iron Man 3 can't figure out a way to do it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... Perhaps our villain to be is the Crimson Dynamo? He wouldn't be too hard to "modernize".

EJudas said...

I have to say that, if Kingsley is in the film, he is not "The Mandarin" as Paramount has confirmed, much like Two Face was not a character in TDK; Harvey Dent was a character. Now, we DO have the confirmed cyborg villain for IM3, but I KIND of see a side-story of The Mandarin's character forming in the background... maybe... possibly.