If you still haven’t seen Iron Man 3, keep in mind that the following contains spoilers:
When Iron Man 3 hit theaters in 2013, many fans were disappointed to learn that Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin wasn’t actually the Mandarin. He was just an actor named Trevor Slattery who was hired to play the Mandarin. Shortly after the film’s release, Marvel came out with a direct-to-video short entitled, All Hail the King. The short indicated that the real Mandarin was still out there and Trevor would soon meet him.
Iron Man 3 Director Shane Black recently confirmed with Uproxx that All Hail the King was Marvel’s way of apologizing for the Mandarin.
“Marvel saw so many negative things they made a whole other movie just to apologize called [sic] Hail to the King,” said Black. “In which they said, ‘No, no, the Mandarin is still alive. That wasn’t him. There’s a real Mandarin.”
Black went on to say that Marvel didn’t expect such a huge backlash. If anything, they thought fans would “eat it up.”
“It never occurred to us the Mandarin is as iconic to people as, say, the Joker in Batman,” Black went on. “[Fans] just wanted to see the magic rings shoot lasers.”
It’s unclear if we’ll see the real Mandarin pop up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe any time soon. Until then, you can catch Captain America: Civil War in theaters now. Also be sure to check out Shane Black’s latest film, The Nice Guys, which opens this Friday.