Mandarin Might Still Reappear as the Villain in Iron Man 3?

November 23, 2009
Source: Moviefone


I know we're jumping ahead here, since Iron Man 2 is another six months out, but this a pretty good story, even though it's not necessarily something we haven't heard before. Actor Faran Tahir, who played Raza, the mysterious leader of the 10 Rings in the first Iron Man, was interviewed by Moviefone UK recently for Star Trek (he plays Captain Robau in that). The interviewer jokingly says that he's probably always asked about Mandarin and Iron Man 3, yet continues to ask the question. However, Tahir's answer hints that the villain Mandarin might still pop up in the third movie, whenever it gets made sometime in the future.

"Jon Favreau and [the producers] are not stupid. They're also listening in on all of this and wanting to get the pulse of where the audience is. But at some point, they want to introduce Mandarin into the storyline and my character, like Mandarin, was the leader of the Ten Rings. We're leaving it open because, partly, it makes good business sense for us to leave a little bit of uncertainty for people to speculate on."

That makes complete sense and I know Favreau is probably reading every comment ever written about Iron Man. But here's where things get interesting. Tahir is asked if Favreau has even thought about Iron Man 3.

"He has known for a long time where he wants to take it and I don't want to speak for him, but my feeling is that the second movie didn't want to just follow a singular storyline. They wanted to expand the characters to show that it's not a linear saga like Lord of the Rings. There's a linkage somewhere in there, but the big idea is to do at least one more Iron Man movie and then go into The Avengers."

There's a lot we can learn from his response and it may even get into spoiler territory, so be careful. First and foremost, it sounds like they really are beefing up the War Machine storyline. Obviously Rhodey needs to get to that point anyway, but I think Tahir's confirming that they're trying to develop all of these characters (Black Widow included) on their own so that they can either eventually get a spin-off or their own story in future sequels. And what does that mean for Mandarin? Well, he obviously has the potential to appear down the line. In fact, Favreau has talked about Mandarin (or someone like him) multiples before.

"We have the 10 Rings which is a tip of the hat to the Mandarin, which is the greater villain that is going to emerge," Favreau said in May of 2008. And he later said in October of 2008: "Mandarin is still an important figure in the Iron Man universe. We have an interesting take on him that allows us to incorporate the whole pantheon of villains. The whole 10 Rings thing in Iron Man was a good tease for it." Sounds like he has some big plans for the future of Iron Man. We'll obviously continue to keep you updated on all things Tony Stark!

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News, Rumors



Excellant actor,perfect for Mandarin.

Tir na nog on Nov 23, 2009


Why would they take an arab to play the role of a Chinese? As long as I know the Mandarin, is rather Chinese, not Moslem at all... There is something f*cked up in Hollywood when it's about casting people from the right ethnic type... Soon they're going to hire Ben Laden cousin to play as Captain America... WTF!

John on Nov 23, 2009


Mandarin would be awesome!

M-Cat on Nov 23, 2009


his a great actor but i rather have my Mandarin to be Chinese. i know they want to base this Iron Man movie around the whole Iraq situation but come on now lets get back to having the Mandarin to be played by a Chinese actor. they should consider Russell Wong to play Mandarin.

craig on Nov 23, 2009

5 the movies...the Mandarin is not Chinese, he's Muslim. Much in the same way that Nick Fury is black now. #2 stop hating

tyrascilee on Nov 23, 2009


#5 Nick Fury didnt turn black cause of the Iron Man movie he was always been black in Ultimate Marvel Universe. you heard of Ultimate Nick Fury well his black but Mandarin always been chinese. im not against Faran Tahir to play Mandarin but it seems Hollywood always never cast a chinese or japanese actors to play that comic book character on film

craig on Nov 23, 2009


#5 9/11, enough said...

John on Nov 23, 2009


#7 WTF Thats suppose to mean? Mandarin is muslim because it goes with the story. Why the heck Tony Stark would be selling weapons in Vietnam in the 2000's? Favreau just used our Vietnam (Afghanistan) and told the same story. That's the only diff. The actor is perfect for the role.

Eldivo23 on Nov 23, 2009


After all the B-list villains they went for in Iron Man 2, I'd be pissed if they didn't include Mandarin in the third.

SlashBeast on Nov 23, 2009


Bring me Fin Fang Foom and I'm set for Iron Man. IMHO, F.F.F was the best. But maybe an intergalatic, shapeshifting Dragon Emperor isn't right for the big screen.... Maybe...

Dyi on Nov 23, 2009


It is just a little weird because the name Mandarin screams Chinese! Also it doesn't quite make sense that the group was already called the Ten Rings in the first movie but the mandarin doesn't have his powers yet! Faran Tahir would do a good job though!

Jambi on Nov 23, 2009


in iron man 1, they never straight up said Tahir was the leader of the 10 Rings. they left it pretty open. he could have been just a high ranking general in one small faction of the 10 Rings. the movie also said the 10 Rings was a multi-national terrorist group so i do think Mandarin should be asian. My first gut instinct was to cast Chow Yun Fat since he's chinese but now i think about it, Ken Watanabe would be better. he plays a little more sinister to me than Fat.

CL on Nov 23, 2009


# 12 right. ken watanabe would be perfect and mandarin should be asian

sam on Nov 23, 2009


#12 and #13 Faran Tahir is Asian. Faran Tahir is Pakistani they are Asians

luke on Nov 23, 2009


@12 yes watanabe,he should play the mandarin,shame they didn't have him in the first film,he was iron-man's first foe in the comic.

tobi,leader of the akatsuki on Nov 23, 2009


Bring him please everybody will be waiting eagerly for him.

Fisherr on Nov 23, 2009


Besides why would Fahran Tahir play the role when he already played Raza?

Fisherr on Nov 23, 2009


Hollywood is a place where: Charlton Heston plays a Mexican; George C Scott plays a Native American Christopher Lee plays a Chinese man; Tony Curtis plays a viking (or at least 1/2); Antonio Banderas plays an Arab; Warren Beatty plays a Jew; Kevin Costner plays an Englishman; Clark Gable plays a southerner; etc. etc. etc. They'll do whatever they want. I read the original Mandarin story when it hit the stands, don't give a damn about so-called ultimate Marvel or extreme Marvel or whatever. The Mandarin was and is definitely Chinese. The term "mandarin" is a Chinese title. If the guy's an Arab, they really should call him the Caliph or the Sheik or something. Neither has quite the same ring as Mandarin. Hey, loan the Mandarin to DC for the Green Lantern movie. They could have a cool battle of the rings. Re: "They are Asians." yeah, well, Asia is real big, in fact the biggest place in the world. Lotsa different kinds of folks there. Ya know what, white folks are named after the Caucasas Mountains in Asia, so I don't think "They are Asians" makes a Mandarin. Gotta go to China.

zubzwank on Nov 23, 2009


Mandarin Arab that just don't seem right....I am not against updating for the times but seriously ....Gotta stick with some kinda ethnic continuity with the Comic Book on this one

CORNBOY on Nov 23, 2009


@#18 are you reply to me cause the comment i said is that Faran Tahir is Asian. if you know info right they are conside as Asian. in the UK i.e. Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans are Asians. how i know this is because im from the UK.

luke on Nov 23, 2009


It would be foolish to not use the Mandarin considering the building resentment towards china by the u.s.....fuck we are already at war, well at least electronically so why not role the shit into the movies...

zippy on Nov 23, 2009


A lot of stupid ass comments on this thread.

Cody on Nov 23, 2009


Luke, I don't think you got it. You seem to be saying," Well, they (Pakistani) are Asians, so that makes him OK to be the Mandarin. It's the same continent." or something. I'm saying that many kinds of people live in Asia. That doesn't mean any Asian can be the Mandarin. That character has to be Chinese. It's like saying "We need a Mexican villain. Let's hire this French-Canadian guy from Montreal. He's from the same continent." We are at war with China? Since when? I thought we were borrowing money from them for the bailout.

zubzwank on Nov 24, 2009


@#23 i know the Mandarin is chinese but they already changed elements from the Iron Man in the comics onto film. plus if the Mandarin has to be changed to work on film well what can we do also when i said they are Asians was a reply to #13 who said "mandarin should be asian". well Faran Tahir is (Pakistani) Asian but not Chinese as the Mandarin. if #13 said "Mandarin should be Chinese" i would not even reply to him. think about that one zubzwank

luke on Nov 24, 2009


I don't mind Faran Tahir as the Mandarin. Lemme explain: sure the Mandarin must be Chinese, but it is never stated what kind of Chinese he has to be. Within China alone there's 56 ethnic groups, not counting the predominant Han Chinese. The Classic Mandarin had a penchant for Genghis Khan, who was a Mongolian (and not Han CHinese). Not to mention that the Khan actually invaded Iran at one point. Also, amongst the various ethnic groups of China are the Uighurs and the Kazakhs, both of which are pretty much Arabic in descent, even though they are counted as "Chinese" by some. My only requirement for Faran, if he plays as Mandarin, is that he retains the Genghis Kan aspirations he had in the first movie, and speaks in fluent Mandarin. Race is not the big issue, the whole domination of Asia thing is.

Christopher Johnson on Jan 8, 2010

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