Back around the time the original Iron Man was released, Jon Favreau gave an interview where he said his idea was to bring the Mandarin in as a villain in the third movie. That would give Marvel time to establish the “magical” side of the Marvel universe, which the Mandarin is definitely part of. They even began to set him up in the first movie with the Ten Rings being present in the background in many scenes.
Well, it looks like Shane Black has other plans as he confirmed that the Mandarin wouldn’t be the villain in the third movie. Comic Book Resources has the scoop from the Long Beach Comic Con this past weekend, where Black broke the bad news:
When audience members suggested the Mandarin, Black dismissed it as a racist caricature.
The Mandarin has really been a core villain for Iron Man for years, and was even featured in one of the Iron Man animated movies. For Black to so easily dismiss him as a villain, does he really get Iron Man at all? It’s almost like someone directing a Batman movie and dismissing The Joker because they’re afraid of clowns.