Yahoo Movies released the final theatrical trailer for Iron Man 3 midday on Tuesday, and if nothing else too new, it at least gives us a good look at Ben Kingsley's villain The Mandarin, who shows a serious interest in Chinese culture—but not stereotypically, swears the director!—along with a menacing voice that spouts non-stop philosophical threats and reminds a lot of people of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises—and/or Chinese stereotypes. Let's examine:
See, here's his hairstyle:
And his rings:
And his dwellings:
And his aviator sunglasses:
And his robe:
But wait, here's a question, Ben Kingsley—a great actor whose father was of Indian descent and whose mother was English—is playing a character that is supposed to be half-Chinese, half-English. In another post at Yahoo, director Shane Black explained: "His nationality is not even clear because he is shrouded in secrecy," adding, "He has crafted himself in the manner of the Mandarin, of a warlord. And I think that’s great because you get to do the comic book but you don’t… have to deal with the specifics of Fu Manchu stereotyping.
"We’re not saying he’s Chinese, we’re saying he, in fact, draws a cloak around him of Chinese symbols and dragons because it represents his obsessions with Sun Tzu in various ancient arts of warfare that he studied."
Marvel has been sticking to this story since the first Iron Man 3 trailer in October, when studio exec Kevin Seige told EW's Anthony Breznican that The Mandarin's new iteration is "less about his specific ethnicity than the symbolism of various cultures and iconography that he perverts for his own end."
Not everyone's buying it:
Ben Kingsley's playing a risky game with the way he's delivering those lines.— Colin (@nilocomic) March 5, 2013
Ben Kingsley will make an awesome Mandarin. I mean, being Chinese and all. Other than that terrible miscast Iron Man 3 looks great.— Mark Westmoreland (@Markaw00) March 5, 2013
Can't wait to see the terrible fanboy impersonations of Ben Kingsley's Mandarin line readings. We suffered through Bane last summer...— Ryan Turek (@_RyanTurek) March 5, 2013
old IRON MAN 3 problem: The Mandarin is racist. new IRON MAN 3 problem: The Mandarin re-uses Ben Kingsley's accent from SCHINDLER'S LIST.— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) March 5, 2013
Watch the full trailer, which also features a mopey Tony Stark and some supped-up Iron Man armor—Hulkbuster gear?—right here:
Iron Man 3 comes out May 3.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.