9 “Perfect” Casting Decisions That Went Horribly Wrong

8. Sir Ben Kingsley As The Mandarin/Trevor Slattery - Iron Man 3

Kingsley Mandarin
Marvel Studios

Anyone who has seen Don Logan in Sexy Beast knows that Ben Kingsley is more than capable of shifting away from the kindly persona everyone recognizes from his performance in Gandhi towards something much more dark and sinister - it's a towering performance and one of the best gangster villains of all time. It's also one reason why the announcement that Kingsley was set to play Mandarin in Iron Man 3 was so well received by fans of the comics.

Judging by the Iron Man 3 trailers it seemed as if the casting of Kingsley as the Mandarin would work out just fine - it presented a suitably menacing presence which appeared to make the most of this great actor (even if there was a slightly racist undercurrent to his portrait of this terrorist persona). Unfortunately, as fans know all too well, something went horribly wrong along the way to the final credits, and his character was revealed not as the familiar Iron Man villain but as an alcoholic British actor merely pretending to be the leader of The Ten Rings.

Of course, we can't blame Kingsley for this seemingly perfect casting going horribly wrong - he handles the switch from the Mandarin to Trevor Slattery as well as anyone could hope to. In this case the fault lies with writer-director Shane Black. In his hands, a character who has become synonymous with the art of warfare was reduced to little more than a cheap gag disguised as a weak plot twist.


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