Marvel loves to sprinkle in cameos with big and small characters from its ever-expanding universe. Its next movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, has been the target of a rumor involving a returning character from one of the earlier movies, Ben Kingsley’s (Gandhi) “Mandarin,” who turned out to be Trevor Slattery, at least as reported from insider Daniel Richtman.
Shang-Chi will deliver the real Mandarin with Tony Leung Chiu-wai (In the Mood for Love). The legendary Chinese actor will bring this iconic comic book villain to life, rather than the fakeout from the third Iron Man entry.
While we don’t want readers to grab onto this as a confirmation, there might be some validity to the insider’s claim about Shang-Chi and Ben Kingsley reprising his role. On IMDB, stuntman Brett Metter is credited to be the double for the renowned actor. Of course, IMDB can pull a Wikipedia and be wrong sometimes, but its consistent accuracy could mean something.
There is one other piece of evidence that could support the rumor in Shang-Chi. We will get two other cameos that have been confirmed from one of the trailers. Benedict Wong’s Wong from Doctor Strange will fight Abomination, played by Tim Roth (The Hateful Eight), who has not been seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since The Incredible Hulk. If we are getting this major throwback of a supervillain with one of the newer characters, then we could always see more surprises, like Trevor Slattery.
The reveal of Trevor Slattery was controversial among Marvel fans. While the studio is proud of its twist, this potential cameo might redeem Iron Man 3 to some degree for fans who were burned by the twist. The introduction of the true identity of the villain might also fix that issue for anyone who was wishing to see a big-screen portrayal of a major antagonist from the comics.
The Mandarin is often associated as an enemy of Tony Stark. He was created by Stan Lee and designed by Don Heck, first appearing in Tales of Suspense #50. In Shang-Chi, he will be the leader of the Ten Rings, a terrorist organization that was introduced in the standalone Iron Man movies.
Similar to the false Mandarin, Shang-Chi will still bring something new to the character that comic book readers might not expect. Co-writer Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984) told Empire that their take will be a little different. The focus will be on his relationship with his son, the titular character played by Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience). The story leans on that tension as the criminal overlord father wants his son to follow in his footsteps, but things don’t quite go that way as the two will have to go toe-to-toe.
Callaham will be joined by writers Andrew Lanham (Just Mercy) and Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy), who is also directing Shang-Chi. Starring alongside the protagonist, antagonist, and the cameos will be Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians), Fala Chen (The Undoing), Florian Munteanu (Creed II), and Ronny Chieng (Godzilla vs. Kong). Fans can check out the latest Marvel blockbuster in theaters on September 3.