Has the real Mandarin been cast yet...?

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Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
Ever since the "All Hail the King" one-shot, I've been massively anticipatory for this. Who would he turn out to be, when was he going to actually show up? I liked what they did with Ben Kingsley. That was world-class misdirection -- in-universe and for real. One wonders, was Killian taked with creating a decoy Mandarin by the real Mandarin? Or was he acting on his own initiative? Did he maybe even think the Mandarin was a myth made up by an inner council who really controlled the Ten Rings, or something?

With all of this set up, we need someone who will continue Marvel's pretty frakkin' brilliant casting track record. We need someone who, likely or unlikely, will end up convincing us they were born to the role. I have two picks, depending on how Marvel plays it...

Originally, the Mandarin was born in pre-Communist China to a wealthy Chinese father and an English noblewoman mother, and can claim descent through his father's line from Genghis Khan. We need someone who brings presence and menace, even when they're being politely nonthreatening. We need someone who can then go to such coldly ruthless extremes that we the audience are unsettled and afraid. I'm sure many on here can come up with a short list of actors and roles that match that description. We need someone who can do that with the Mandarin -- take him from the caricature he started out as and the camp that could be found there and make it a person of real menace. Someone who we can believe organized and runs a worldwide shadow organization that can challenge HYDRA and hold its own. Someone who we can believe runs the subordinates and collaborators we've seen, from Raza to Killian, and still be smarter and nastier than them.

Lately, this has tended to be how the Mandarin is depicted:



I like the business suit. I think he would be wearing the best of the best of bespoke tailors, and the costume people could have fun with that. Subdued flash. Maybe still have some version of the green-and-gold robes for in his sanctum. But more to the point, they've "youthed" him, magic or alien tech (how can you tell the difference in Marvel? ;) ), but if they go that direction, my pick would be Daniel Wu:



For those not familiar with him, look him up, watch some clips on YouTube, tell me what you think.

But I prefer a more-seasoned approach. I want someone who's definitely fit and vigorous, but who we can believe has been around since the late '40s. I didn't even need to stop and think about it. My "dead-on" pick is Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa:



Really hope Marvel thinks so, too. Discuss.

--Jonah
 

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SmilingOtter

Master Member
Tagawa would be a fine choice. Hiroyuki Sanada would work for me as well,though I'm not sure he has the charisma for that kind of role.

 

harrisonp

Sr Member
I still think they could get Kingsley back in the role, maybe with a slight restyle to make the real Mandarin look a tiny bit more sophisticated than Trevor. Ten Rings could easily have sought Trevor out due to his resemblance of the Mandarin. IDK I just like the casting and would like to see them use it creatively in the future.
 

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dbalschi

Sr Member
I always just thought they only did that as a one shot to appease the fans and that he won't actually appear on film.
 

JLeezy23

Sr Member
"They gave me plastic surgeryyy"
If they gave him plastic surgery, doesn't that mean they wanted him to look like someone? If not, why even bother with the surgery in the first place? If so, they can easily reuse Kingsley but redesign how he acts and dresses.

Killian could've been being used by the real Mandarin, to some extent, but we don't know how. Maybe The Mandarin promised Killian tech and stuff like that and was told to have a decoy, and if the decoy was a fail then say Killian was The Mandarin. All while keeping the real one's identity hidden and still working behind the scenes.
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
I always just thought they only did that as a one shot to appease the fans and that he won't actually appear on film.
Nope. The one-shots are canon, expanding on events depicted elsewhere -- why Stark went to meet with Ross and what the outcome was, what Coulson is like in action, how Carter came to be involved in S.H.I.E.L.D., and so on.

"They gave me plastic surgeryyy"
If they gave him plastic surgery, doesn't that mean they wanted him to look like someone? If not, why even bother with the surgery in the first place? If so, they can easily reuse Kingsley but redesign how he acts and dresses.

Killian could've been being used by the real Mandarin, to some extent, but we don't know how. Maybe The Mandarin promised Killian tech and stuff like that and was told to have a decoy, and if the decoy was a fail then say Killian was The Mandarin. All while keeping the real one's identity hidden and still working behind the scenes.
Then the fact that they so obviously patterned him on Bin Laden should factor. The fact that they cast an actor whose ancestry is from the Hindu Kush -- that region where India slammed into Asia. Why wasn't he called "The Pakistani"? Mandarin has an entirely different connotation, and their quasi-explanation in the movie does the concept and the character a disservice.

Yes, the word, through several different linguistic contortions literally means councilor or [government] minister, but the Portugese had trouble getting across what they were asking for. They wanted to meet the people in charge, and the Malaysians brought them the local bureaucrats, referred to them by their version of the word we're discussion, so when the Portugese adopted their interpretation of it (later tweaked/borrowed further into English), its meaning changed. The connotation in the Europeah sphere was, essentially, "the one(s) who pull(s) the strings", and came to be applied by them to the dialect spoken by the ruling class... Which was intentionally created to be unintelligible to the peasants they ruled over, and derived from old Northern Chinese dialects that dated back to the Yuan dynasty that the Mings (ethnic Han Chinese) supplanted -- the Yuan dynasty being (wait for it) the Mongols and their Khans, from whom Marvel's Mandarin claims descent.

*whew* More history than I'd planned ot get into. But yeah -- referencing the original Sanskrit word that means councilor to the king makes a link to the Northern India/Pakistan/Afghanistan region, but completely loses the connotation the word has acquired in English which is what the character is drawing on -- ancient Northern Chinese/Mongol right-to-rule.

--Jonah
 
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Mr Mold Maker

Sr Member
Kingsley was a phenomenal Mandarin. He was to me, perhaps the best part of that whole mess of a movie.

I haven't watched the movie again since it came out, but from what I remember, he brought something truly special to the role, and at this point I don't see someone stepping in and out performing his "fake" Mandarin.

That being said, where would this even fit? With Civil War around the corner and then two Infinity War films, I don't see them being able to shoe horn a good Mandarin story in. I have been surprised by Marvel many times in the past, but if they pull this off... Well, it would flat out blow my mind!
 

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dascoyne

Master Member
I always just thought they only did that as a one shot to appease the fans and that he won't actually appear on film.
I think I heard somewhere (Nerdist?) that "Hail" was done only to appease fans and there were no plans (yet) to build on this.
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
I think I heard somewhere (Nerdist?) that "Hail" was done only to appease fans and there were no plans (yet) to build on this.
That's one theory. But from the co-writer of IM3, who wrote that one-shot in collaboration with Feige and Whedon and others -- as he put it -- "above [his] pay grade", it was definitely and deliberately done to move the story forward. They don't put anything out there that isn't meant to be taken seriously as part of the MCU. And they certainly wouldn't have gone to the effort of tweaking the script and asking Sir Ben back for something as pandering as "appeasing the fans". Fan reaction did play into what they did, but only slightly. The plan had already been there when they were making IM3, that the Ten Rings were out there, the Mandarin was out there, and Killian and A.I.M. had co-opted something that wasn't theirs to mess with.

--Jonah
 

Mektar

Well-Known Member
the one shot looked as if it was made purely because of the hate they got from the mandarin twist in IM3. cant even recall it but think that was actually the case. Then again seeing as they might give iron man the james bond treatment, surely they will give us the real mandarin at some point then.
 

harrisonp

Sr Member
the one shot looked as if it was made purely because of the hate they got from the mandarin twist in IM3. cant even recall it but think that was actually the case. Then again seeing as they might give iron man the james bond treatment, surely they will give us the real mandarin at some point then.
I fear the day when the MCU suffers its first big recast. I know Rhodey and Banner were small hiccups, but losing RDJ seems insurmountable to me. I would much rather they let Rhodey take on the role, or give us a legacy character to step into the suit. I'm hopeful that if the MCU keeps going for years to come that they will pass the torch (BuckyCap, FalconCap) instead of massive recasting.
 

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Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
Same person I quoted above (the one who said "All Hail the King" is canon and 95% nothing to do with fan reaction) said the only way more Iron Man movies are getting made is if someone comes up with a story/script that RDJ loves. They have no intention to replace him.

--Jonah
 

kegas76

Well-Known Member
Paul Rudd is his replacement, smartass in a red supersuit. We had a ten rings guy trying to buy the yellow jacket so...
 

Mr Mold Maker

Sr Member
Personally, I'd love to see him be a Thanos level bad guy..a few films with him in the shadows (already happening,) him finally arriving and killing Tony, culminating in Tony being avenged by, you guessed it, The Avengers.

It would be a nice way to wrap up Iron Man when RDJ is ready to hang up the role IMO. No need to recast, just send him off as a hero.
 

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