iron-man-mandarin

Back when Jon Favreau first came on board Iron Man, he wanted the villain to be the Mandarin. That didn’t happen. Instead of a guy with ten rings of power, we got Obadiah Stane. But an organization called the Ten Rings was referenced in both the first and second films as a set-up for the future.

Now Favreau says that The Mandarin has to be the go-to guy for evil in the third film. And what about 3D? You know it has to hit a Marvel film sooner or later, and Favreau has said he was interested in it for Iron Man 2. Will Iron Man 3 be the first 3D Marvel film, or will that ‘honor’ go to Captain America or The Avengers?

Favreau told MTV,

You have to do The Mandarin…The problem with The Mandarin is, the way it’s depicted in the comic books, you don’t want to see that. He also has 10 magical rings, and it just doesn’t feel right for our thing, so it’s either tech-based or the rings are not really rings…But maybe with ‘Thor’ and all those others you’ll introduce magic to that world and it won’t seem so out of place.

But he also mentions that there will be a lot of story logistics to deal with as a result of Thor, Captain America and The Avengers. That could make the story complicated, so any comments now shouldn’t be taken too much to heart. It could all change, and Favreau could conceivably not direct Iron Man 3.

I’m not enough of an Iron Man reader to know a lot about the Mandarin, but I like the idea of a non-tech based foe for Iron Man. If Thor works, that shouldn’t be a problem. The blend of sci-fi, magic and other elements has always been a fun part of the Marvel Universe, and if the studio really wants to represent that comic world on film, it would be great to see magic, or at least a non-technological force, on screen.

And the fact is, the Mandarin’s rings aren’t originally magic — they’re an alien technology. (It’s a link that puts the character close to Green Lantern in a certain way.) But with the rings of power and a serious set of martial arts skills (which are sometimes superhuman and sometimes not) he could make a great bad guy. Besides, shellhead needs a real enemy. Iron Man 2 has two bad guys but no real match for Tony Stark; the only way to get close to giving him a match was to make a character who was just like Stark. Give him some magic or something weird to fight, to elevate the conflict a little bit.

And with respect to 3D, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talked to the LA Times, and said that while there was interest in doing post-production 3D for Iron Man 2, the film’s schedule didn’t permit it to be done well.

We couldn’t have turned over a version of the movie 10 or 20 weeks earlier for 3-D conversion without undermining the quality…We used all the time we had for mixing and editing and discovering the right tone.

But Marvel has been doing extensive research into 3D, and Feige says “we will be doing it at some point.”

Thor would have to be post-processed into 3D, and hopefully Clash of the Titans makes that look like a bad idea. But Captain America hasn’t started shooting yet, so 3D could happen there from day one. If not, then The Avengers would probably be the first 3D film for Marvel, leading to a seemingly inevitable Iron Man 3D.

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