Ahead of the September 3 release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Marvel Studios has surprised fans by dropping on Disney+ All Hail the King, one of its “One-Shot” short films that previously was only released on the DVD for Iron Man 3.
The short takes place after Shane Black‘s 2013 blockbuster, which had a twist that its menacing villain, who called himself “The Mandarin,” was actually a has-been actor named Trevor Slattery, played by Oscar winner Ben Kingsley.
However, All Hail the King, written and directed by Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce, reinforces that there is a real Mandarin — who appears in Shang-Chi — and he, as is the rest of his deadly Ten Rings organization, is understandably none too happy with Slattery. Kingsley, too, appears in the upcoming film.
Some fans are still vocal about the Iron Man 3 twist, which somehow stayed secret in the age of social media — something that shocked Pearce. He told ABC Audio, “How did we get away with having an actual twist that nobody knew about in advance!? We were at the London premiere. “We were like, it’s a week ’til this comes out in America. This is not going to be a surprise to any human in the world. And for some reason, people like respected it as a twist, you know.”
And Pearce clarified that All Hail the King wasn’t an “apology” for the Mandarin twist, as some fanboys had snarked. “I always thought it was weird that like to somehow placate the people that were annoyed by Trevor Slattery, I would make a whole new film with Trevor Slattery where he’s even more Trevor Slattery-ish than he was in the original film,” Drew laughs.
He added, “[W]e stated fairly clearly in [Iron Man 3] that the Mandarin was a mantle that had already existed and would continue to exist. And All Hail the King was really just in the lineage of that.”
Pearce adds, “I’m so proud of Iron Man 3, like it’s so esoteric as a superhero movie that I don’t think people even remember that until they re-watch it. It’s its own movie, and it’s pretty bonkers in places. And I love that.”
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