The First 'Iron Man' Was Supposed To Feature The Mandarin As The Villain

iron man 3 ben kingsley

Even if you haven’t seen “Iron Man 3” yet, you’re probably aware from the numerous trailers that the main villain is pitted as The Mandarin.

 It appeared a conscious choice given the character is considered Tony Stark’s primary arch nemesis in the comics. 

It also allowed the series to come full circle. 

If you recall from the first film, a terrorist group kidnapped Stark named “The 10 Rings.” It was a simple nod to The Mandarin who wears 10 magical rings.  

It turns out the villain was supposed to be the primary bad guy in the first film.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, “Iron Man” trilogy producer and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said the role just “didn’t work”:  

“He [The Mandarin] was in every Iron Man 1 script until about 10 weeks before we started filming,” says Feige. “He was a contemporary of Tony Stark. He was younger. He was involved in business deals with [Stark.]” This Mandarin was trying to secure Stark’s vast weapons manufacturing resources, and Jeff Bridges’ character — Obadiah Stane, a mentor of Stark’s, would have been a kind of sidekick villain. “We’d have revealed that Obadiah was the mole on the inside,” Feige says. “But it did’t work. It didn’t work.” 

Instead, we received Jeff Bridges as a villain.

“Iron Man 3” has already taken in a massive $680 million at theatres worldwide.

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