As the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings movers ever closer, the excitement for Marvel Studios' first kung fu blockbuster is at an all-time high. Not only will fans finally be treated to the debut of Simu Liu's Shang-Chi, but Tony Leung will also make his first MCU appearance as the villainous Mandarin.
The iconic Marvel villain was first hinted at in Iron Man 3 as Ben Kingsley appeared as the fake Mandarin, Trevor Slattery, to cover up for AIM's terrorist activities. While many were disappointed in this twist at the time, Marvel Studios quickly corrected its mistake with the 2014 one-shot All Hail the King which saw Slattery broken out of prison by the real Mandarin.
Almost a decade later, this cliffhanger looks set to finally be resolved as Ben Kingsley will officially reprise his role in Shang-Chi's MCU debut.
MARVEL HINTS AT TREVOR'S SHANG-CHI RETURN
Iron Man 3's Ben Kinsley has been officially confirmed to return as Trevor Slattery in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings at the film's red carpet premiere, according to ComicBook's Brandon Davis:
“They just confirmed Ben Kingsley is part of the cast of Shang-Chi”
The actor was spotted at the kung fu flick's premiere event in an image shared on the film's official Twitter account.
Back in 2013, Kingsley portrayed an actor who was being used as a fake version of the Mandarin to front Aldrich Killian's terror activities. During Marvel Studios' All Hail the King short film, Trevor returned incarcerated in prison before being broken out by a group who were working for the real Mandarin.
Now that Tony Leung will finally make his MCU debut as the Mandarin in Shang-Chi, many had previously speculated Kingsley would also return, even if it was simply to send off his character with a dramatic execution.
J.K. Simmons' return as J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home was previously hinted at similarly back in 2019 as the veteran actor showed up to the film's premiere after over a decade away from the franchise.
HOW BIG A ROLE COULD TREVOR PLAY?
Since Ben Kingsley's return miraculously hasn't been reported up until this point, it seems evident that his return will be strictly in a cameo capacity.
Based on the Ten Rings' brutality that has previously been established in the MCU, one would assume Tony Leung's Mandarin wouldn't take an American actor publicly impersonating him well. With Kingsley returning for the king fu flick, it wouldn't be all that surprising to see him executed early in the film in a flashback to his 2013 kidnapping.
Iron Man 3's Mandarin twist proved extremely controversial back in 2013, and it remains divisive among fans to this day. With the debut of what looks to be a more comic-accurate Mandarin, Marvel Studios appears set to make this controversy right with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
The death of the hilarious Trevor Slattery in a flashback early in the film would be a perfect way to establish the true evil of the Ten Rings and Tony Leung's villain.
Whatever the extent of his role, all will become clear when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters on September 3.