With The Incredible Hulk tracking surprisingly well and threatening to smash Iron Man's box office records next weekend, director Jon Favreau is keeping Tony Stark and company in the news by hinting at the plot of an Iron Man sequel -- and the possible appearance of the Mandarin.
"I'm glad that we didn't try to attack the Mandarin the first time around," Favreau told Superhero Hype. "There is a lot that is very relevant about that character, in the pool of the landscape that we find ourselves in, but there is something off-putting and distasteful about the way that the Mandarin had been presented back in the '60s. I don't think that is relevant anymore. How do you maintain the core spirit of what makes that villain so formidable without having something that either seemed out of our reality, as far as what his abilities are, or the way he is depicted?"
When the original film made mention of the terrorist organization The 10 Rings, it was a clear reference to Marvel history and the alien artifacts the Mandarin discovered before beginning his career of oppression and supervillainy. It seemed like a pretty obvious clue from Favreau and his writers that Iron Man's arch-nemesis would appear in a sequel.
Now, with the director saying he needs "heavy duty, heavyweight bad guys" to confront Iron Man in the next film, Mandarin seems all but a lock. There's no mention of casting yet for the Far Eastern troublemaker, but that will have to break soon, as Robert Downey Jr. will be ready to begin filming in the golden titanium suit again after he finishes playing Hugh Hefner in the biopic he's reportedly considering.
Image courtesy Marvel.com