Iron Man 3 is slated for a May 2013 release, and it’s missing something… a villain. Never fear Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast) is in talks to play the next villain, reportedly yet another corporate bad guy with a hankering for new technology (yawn). But that’s pretty much on par. One of Iron Man’s original comic themes was the implications of the Cold War, and the struggle of the American Inventor to hold on to his own technology in the modern world of government acquisitions and teams ruled by companies where all intellectual properties belong to business not people.
Which is what made Iron Man’s main super villain so cool. Alas we may never see Mandarin, the martial arts magic ring welding, alien technology using criminal mastermind. Even though Original Iron Man director Jon Favreau did hint before we may see Mandarin in part 3, new director and all around buzzkill Shane Black (and honestly Marvel this better not be the guy who had ties to “Last Action Hero” are you guys hurting for money? This guy hasn’t done anything since the turn of the 90′s right?) dismissed Mandarin as a racist caricature at Long Beach Comic-Con last fall. Apparently with China Box Office numbers racial sensitivities matter, and I guess if you have the guy who wrote box office bomb “The Long Kiss Goodnight” you’re going to need all the help you can get, even if it is Iron Man.
And while I make fun of this, because I am sure Marvel will certainly shut me up as they have before by putting out a decent movie, let me go on record as saying I have never heard anyone in my circle call Mandarin a stereotype. You can always shave off his fu manchu. You can’t do much about the accent because well, the character is Asian and he’s also called Mandarin, you definitely want to keep him as a martial arts master, I don’t know man, I just see a badass, I never really thought of myself as a racist because I like the way Mandarin looks, acts, and kicks ass. Maybe you guys are just filled with personal guilt. I mean, I’m a Mexican, but I love Mexican wrestlers who play their stereotype well, I love the bad guys in Three Amigos, I never leave in a huff about it, I love Mexican spoof bands like Manic Hispanic. And if someone wanted to make a villain, dress him up in Dia De Los Muertos facepaint or a sombrero (or both) and call him “El Bandito” I’d be so down for that. Just saying.