A Major Marvel Actor Has Confirmed Their Return for 'Shang-Chi'

There’s a new Marvel movie hitting theaters very soon – Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The film, which stars Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, and very handsome man Tony Leung, is the first Marvel Studios film with an Asian director and a predominantly Asian cast, and that’s a big deal. And while Shang-Chi is still a few weeks away, info about the film – spoilery info – is already finding its way online.

For instance: we’ve learned a familiar face from a past Marvel movie will be making an appearance. This person confirmed it themselves. In public, even! If you want to learn who it is in advance, keep reading! If not, get the heck out of here! Consider this your spoiler warning.

In Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Tony Leung plays Wenwu, AKA The Mandarin. And fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will note that this isn’t the first time the MCU used that character name. The Mandarin was infamously used in the excellent Iron Man 3, where the character was played by Ben Kingsley. Sort of.

The Mandarin’s Back, in Ben Kingsley Form

In Iron Man 3, it’s revealed that the man claiming to be the Mandarin is actually an actor named Trevor Slattery who was hired by the movie’s real villain – Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian – as a diversionary tactic. Some fans were very pissed about this (more on that later!), but those people who wanted the actual Mandarin in the film can take comfort in knowing that he’s finally arriving, as played by Tony Leung.

But we’re not done with the fake Mandarin, either. During Monday’s premiere of the film in Los Angeles, Ben Kingsley was on the red carpet – and let slip that he’s appearing in Shang-Chi, too:

“As you just saw, I was talking to Kevin Feige,” Kingsley said (via ET), “and thanks to Kevin and Robert Downey Jr. and Drew Pearce and Shane Black, I am in this movie and I’m a member of the Marvel family, because their welcome on Iron Man 3 was so astonishing and generous that I’m still with Marvel again. And I’m delighted to be here!”

Having not seen Shang-Chi yet, I don’t know how big Kingsley’s part is, or what it entails. My guess is it’s a cameo, and also that the fake Mandarin will encounter the real Mandarin. Wonder how that’ll go.

All Hail The King

As I mentioned above, the Iron Man 3 twist pissed off some people. Why? The reasoning behind the fan-anger seemed to be that folks wanted Kingsley to be the real Mandarin, not some fake-out. But I, on the other hand, had no such problem. I thought Kingsley’s performance – both as the fake Mandarin and as the clueless Trevor Slattery – was great, and I think Iron Man 3 is one of the best Marvel movies.

I’m glad Marvel isn’t giving in to fan anger and ignoring Kingsley’s character entirely. They brought him back before in the Marvel short film “All Hail the King,” and now he’s back for Shang-Chi, too.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens in theaters on September 3, 2021.

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