12 Unsolved Movie Mysteries That Drove You Mad

11. Who Is The Real Mandarin? - Iron Man 3

iron man 3 ben kingsley mandarin
Marvel Studios

Iron Man 3 quite infamously took the brave step to reveal that Ben Kingsley's apparent antagonist The Mandarin was not at all who he appeared to be.

Kingsley instead played Trevor Slattery, an actor paid by the "real" Mandarin to act as an idealised, exaggerated visualisation of the comic book villain.

In the film's climax, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) professes himself to be the actual Mandarin, despite bearing few of the character's traditional hallmarks.

Fans were so infuriated by the rug-pull - which was seen as disrespecting an iconic Marvel baddie - that Marvel Studios actually walked the twist back in the One-Shot short film, "All Hail the King."

The short revealed that a third, legit Mandarin was actually waiting in the wings, with the implication being that he was far more akin to the traditional comic book representation, Ten Rings and all.

And so the question remains - who actually is the MCU's Mandarin? Sadly we'll probably never get a concrete answer considering that this plot thread is likely considered a poisoned well by Marvel Studios brass, and they simply rustled up this short to shut the angry fans up.

But we can probably assume he's at least part-Asian this time, no?


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.