Last week I rewatched Iron Man 3 for the first time since it was in theaters, and I’m still convinced it’s one of the best movies of 2013. Co-writer/director Shane Black was able to infuse his signature style into the movie and keep the Marvel suits pleased at the same time, resulting in one of the most fun blockbusters in recent years. One of the high points of the film was incorporating Sir Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin, a villain who – in the comics – is Iron Man’s greatest nemesis, but (spoiler alert) is just a washed up, drunk British actor in the film. Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery represents one of Marvel’s ballsiest choices to date, but a lot of fans cried foul when they found out the direction the studio was going with this character.
Rumors have been flying for a while now that Kingsley would star in Marvel’s next One-Shot (the studio’s original short films they attach to each Blu-ray/DVD release), and the name “All Hail the King” led a few to assume that the “king” in the title refers to King Lear. After all, according to Iron Man 3, Slattery’s work in King Lear was the “toast of Croydon.” Now all that has been confirmed, as IM3 co-writer Drew Pearce spoke to EW and passed along a few new images from the upcoming short.
Pearce wrote and directed All Hail the King, and offers a bunch of new details about it in the Entertainment Weekly interview. A lot of them get into some spoiler-ish territory so I’d rather not copy them here, but feel free to head that way and check out the full piece if you’re not worried about having story beats ruined for you. One thing I will mention that I found fascinating: the fanboys who were upset with Marvel’s treatment of The Mandarin aren’t the only ones who felt betrayed. In this story, apparently we get to see some of the fallout of people who devoted their lives to the idea of The Mandarin being real, and what it means to them when that “reality” came crashing down at the end of Iron Man 3 when Slattery’s true identity was revealed. In the meantime, check out the new photos from All Hail the King, which will be available on the Thor: The Dark World home video release on February 25th.
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