Shane Black On How They Made The Mandarin A Terrorist For Iron Man 3


mandarin bannerSince the latest trailer for Iron Man 3  was set loose to blow our minds, the floodgates have opened for interesting quotes and remarks from the cast and crew. We’ve covered some of the bigger things the last few days, but today director Shane Black expanded on something about the Mandarin we’ve only seen teased in a lot of the other chats. The director of the Iron Man threequel talked with MTV a little more in-depth about how they made our hero’s most fearsome foe a modern day terrorist.

We have heard numerous times that this version of the Mandarin will stray from the early comics and the more racist aspects and Fu Manchu stereotyping by making the character, brought to life by the great Sir Ben Kingsley, more of a tech-savy and media minded terrorist. Black touched on that and even revealed a little bit about the character’s backstory:

[Mandarin] has an intelligence background. His nationality is not even clear because he’s shrouded in secrecy, but at some point, this field officer went nuts and became a student of warfare and ancient Chinese symbology and drew from South American insurgency tactics and has created around himself this little world of warfare. The only unifying principal of which seems to be a hatred of the United States, so he represents every terrorist, in a way. But specifically, he’s crafted himself in the manner of the Mandarin, of a warlord.

I think that’s great, because you get to do the comic book, but you don’t have to deal with the specifics of Fu Manchu stereotyping. We’re not saying he’s Chinese. We’re saying that he in fact draws a cloak around him of Chinese symbols and dragons because it represents his obsession with Sun Tzu and various ancient arts of warfare that he has studied.

Even if you’re a comic book purist, you have to admit that sounds interesting. From all the clips and trailers we’ve seen it’s also safe to say we don’t have to worry about how they handled the Mandarin. He is still as frightening and menacing as ever. The slight twist looks like it will mesh well with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What do you think about the director’s comments?

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Source : MTV