In a Reddit AMA that sent Marvel fans into screaming fits of excitement, Kevin Feige revealed the news that the real Mandarin would be returning to the MCU.
If you watched Iron Man 3, we went in with the expectation that Ben Kingsley was the Mandarin, only to be given a plot twist of him being merely an actor asked to don the persona. I am unable to forget the character because my brother utters “lesson number one” on a daily basis, in an attempt to impersonate Kingsley’s impersonation of the character. Confused? I sure am.
Marvel’s treatment and handling of the character is a possible point of contention, given how the Mandarin is a caricature – a typical portrayal of a villainous oriental figure. Iron Man 3’s switcheroo was probably an attempt to avoid all these problematic racial issues. But given Marvel’s push for greater diversity and their efforts to create more developed minority figures, they might just figure out a way to add him into the Universe without offending majority of the viewing population.
Empire’s article covering the AMA also mentioned Hulk news, and that we might see more of Smart Hulk in the future. This is certainly disconcerting, since I wasn’t fond of Smart Hulk, preferring the Bruce Banner/Hulk dynamic. Their distinct personalities and interaction/conflict make things interesting whenever they appear in the MCU.
Given the fact that Avengers: Endgame was released almost a month ago and we are still craving news just shows how Marvel hungry we are. Luckily we have Spider Man: Far From Home coming up to help us satiate the hunger a little.