Last week I speculated on who would be the subject of Marvel’s upcoming short film All Hail The King, and it turns out one of my guesses was correct. Entertainment Weekly has posted a first-look at the One-Shot, which will feature the return of Ben Kingsley as Mandarin actor Trevor Slattery. Arrested at the end of Iron Man 3 (if they’d added stupidity to the charges he probably would have gotten a longer sentence), the short will explore Trevor’s life in prison as he’s interviewed by a documentary filmmaker about the recent events involving Tony Stark and the Mandarin.
By the way, if you were one of those fans who was pissed off about the Mandarin twist, you’re not alone. As director Drew Pearce, who also co-wrote Iron Man 3, told EW, the Ten Rings terrorist organization that the “Mandarin” was representing was pretty pissed off about it too.
Imagine a real terrorist organization whose beliefs were long held and religious for thousands of years, and imagine a drunk, British actor coming along and essentially telling the world that he’s the face of your organization. I think they would be right to be quite angry.
As we saw in the movie, Trevor had failed as an actor, and we’ll learn more in the short about his failed projects, including a Miami Vice-type pilot from the ’80s called Caged Heat. However, we also see that Trevor is living the life he always wanted while in prison. As Pearce states in the interview, Trevor’s been spending his time entertaining the other inmates and is seen as a celebrity by many of them.
When we find Trevor at the beginning of this short, other than Tony, he’s the only one out of Iron Man 3 to get what he wanted. And even though he was arrested and beat up and had guns pointed at him, now he’s the celebrity that he always wanted to be and he loves it. He absolutely loves it. He is living a somewhat curtailed version of the celebrity life, but he’s also leading arguably a better life than he did when he was living with, like, four other actors at the age of 52 in some bedsit in the south of London. That’s the other fun thing about the starting point is that when we meet Trevor in the short, Trevor won. The Mandarin didn’t, but Trevor in his own way was victorious.
The main purpose of the short is to tie up the loose ends left by Iron Man 3 and take a deeper look at the actor who took the world by storm for doing something that he wasn’t even fully aware of. Although it acts as an epilogue, Pearce acknowledges the short could potentially be used to set up Iron Man 4.
I think short movies in general, whether they’re Marvel ones or not, you kind of want them to feel like they’re opening you up to a bigger world. Yeah, I definitely think there are – the non-spoiler way for me to say it — by the end of the short, there are definitely a lot of exciting other places that are brought up in it that could then go in the Marvel universe. You know, whether that’s an Iron Man movie or another one going into Phase Two or Three.
I get the feeling that this short was thought of after the producers saw the audience’s reaction to the Mandarin twist, and now they’re using this short film to try and appease their anger. For me, I was mildly irritated by the Mandarin not being truly introduced in Iron Man 3, but I have to admit that Kingsley played Trevor pretty well. For a failed actor, Trevor was able to play the terrorist mastermind very well, even if he is a dumb-ass in real life. I’m eager to see Kingsley bust out his comedy skills again and give us a taste of both Trevor’s past and prison life.
More importantly, I want to a set-up for the real Mandarin. We know that the Ten Rings is pissed at Slattery and Aldrich Killian for soiling their organization, so maybe we’ll see the true leader of the organization reveal themselves either to Slattery or the world. Even if Iron Man 4 doesn’t happen, at least we have the true Mandarin available as an option for a future Marvel movie. Give us the the villain we need AND deserve, not the one we never asked for.
All Hail The King will be attached to Thor: The Dark World when it’s released on Digital 3D and Digital HD on February 4 and on 3D Combo Pack and Blu-Ray on February 25. There’s a lot more in the Q&A between Pearce and EW, including Pearce talking about getting Kingsley to do the short, so click below to see the rest.
SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly