Wherever you’ve landed on the Iron Man 3 villain twist that saw the menacing and powerful “Mandarin” turn out to be an eccentric and incredibly goofy actor named Trevor Slattery, one thing was never in doubt: Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of Slattery was an absolute gem. Given the popularity of Kingsley’s Slattery, the character’s counterfeit connection to the Ten Rings, and the recent marketing of his All Hail the King one-shot on Disney+, fans were overjoyed to see Trevor Slattery return to the Marvel Studios big screen in Shang-Chi as the same lovable, strange, and hilarious character we met back in 2013.
Fans weren’t the only ones happy about Kingsley’s return. When asked about the actor’s comeback, Shang-Chi Producer Johnathon Schwartz had this to say:
“We love having him back. He’s an amazing actor, he’s an amazing presence. And he was just sort of a cool, funny, unique character who just fit organically in the story we were trying to tell. We always sort of wanted to bring him back and bring him back in maybe a bigger role than maybe people initially imagined he might be…I think was very exciting.”
Kingsley’s triumphant return to the MCU highlights Marvel Studios’ ability and potential to tell long-running stories with characters from extremely different properties and time periods. The fact that Shang-Chi was able to pull off Trevor Slattery’s reintroduction with such ease and joy is a fine tribute to Marvel’s attention to detail, as well as its love and appreciation for all of its work both past and present.