Speaking with MTV, Favreau said, “You have to do The Mandarin. The problem with The Mandarin is, the way it’s depicted in the comic books, you don’t want to see that. He also has 10 magical rings, and it just doesn’t feel right for our thing, so it’s either tech-based or the rings are not really rings. But maybe with Thor and all those others you’ll introduce magic to that world and it won’t seem so out of place.”
He expanded on the changing mythology with SuperHeroHype before adding, “But then Iron Man 3 is years down the road, and that has to reflect the reality of what’s been established.” As for officially directing the third, Favreau is taking a “wait and see” approach until after 2012′s The Avengers, which he will executive produce with Marvel.
When Favreau first signed with the studio (nearly four years ago) he wanted Mandarin to square off against Tony Stark for the first film but, as you know, the script ultimately called for Stark CEO Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) to test the technical might of the miniature arc reactor. Instead, there were merely references to “The Ten Rings” terrorist organization, which could easily be linked to the powerful alien rings on each of Mandarin’s fingers.
In the comics, Mandarin is a main super-villain in the Iron Man universe who discovers the rings among extra-terrestrial wreckage and learns to master them in order to take over the world (naturally). He fights Stark several times in the pages, often using his own missiles against him, and later mind controls the Hulk into wreaking havoc before he’s stopped by Nick Fury of SHIELD (played by Samuel L. Jackson in the movies).
In the original Iron Man film, the perceived leader of “The Ten Rings” was played by Faran Tahir, who hinted at Mandarin’s involvement in part 3 as far back as last November. Tahir may eventually return as Raza, but when the third installment finally happens I’d expect Marvel to find a more bankable star (no offense) to play his master, The Mandarin.
A piece in the LA Times about Captain America potentially going 3D has introduced concerns about the series getting the third dimension. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige certainly seems open to it, even wanting to convert Iron Man 2 until scheduling problems nixed the idea.
“We couldn’t have turned over a version of the movie 10 or 20 weeks earlier for 3-D conversion without undermining the quality… We used all the time we had for mixing and editing and discovering the right tone,” Feige said in the interview.
Premium 3D pricing could have helped the sequel set new box office records this past weekend, and may have hindered the film’s early appearance on the Internet prior to its stateside release.