10:48am PT by Graeme McMillan
Can Marvel's Mandarin Rise Again?
It's looking possible that Trevor Slattery might live again. Talking to reporters during promotion for next month's release of Ender's Game, Sir Ben Kingsley dropped the surprise news that he's going to go back to working with Marvel Studios on a mystery project.
"It's a secret Marvel project. I'm not allowed to say any more, you're going to have to wait and see," he said. "I was with many members of the crew that were involved with Iron Man 3," he went on. "It was lovely to see them again. It was great to be with this wonderful family."
Kingsley's previous Marvel appearance was one of the smartest swerves in a Marvel movie to date, when his Mandarin in the third Iron Man movie turned out to be just a fiction performed by an out-of-work actor as a front for the real villain's activities. Since the release of the movie, some have speculated on the possibility that "Slattery" was actually a double bluff and that Kingsley could later be revealed as the "real" Mandarin after all, merely play-acting to avoid capture by Tony Stark and James Rhodes -- something that seemed ridiculous, but given that Kingsley is teasing a return to the character, who knows…?
The actor said that the execs at Marvel Studios have "enormous taste as creative artists," adding "There's nothing lazy or gratuitous about their work. They are at the top of their game, and they're great company to keep." Maybe we should keep our eyes out for the reappearance of the Ten Rings during Thor: The Dark World or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, just in case.