Marvel Studios' Mandarin Isn't -- Mandarin, That Is
In what appears to be Hollywood's latest effort to avoid offending the Chinese, the super villain in Disney/Marvel's Iron Man 3 known as The Mandarin will not be a Mandarin at all. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige explained why the character is being portrayed by Ben Kingsley, whose father was Indian and his mother, English. Marvel, he explained, wanted to blur the character's background. It's less about his specific ethnicity than the symbolism of various cultures and iconography that he perverts for his own end. Of course, in the comic-book version of the character, he is a Chinese exile who obtains super powers when he discovers a crashed alien spaceship. But, says EW, citing Feige, this version of The Mandarin will not follow that same backstory.