We have the Ten Rings terrorist organization to thank for Tony Stark becoming a superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because without them, Tony would have never built his first Iron Man suit. And while the group’s leader, The Mandarin, proved to be a fraud in Iron Man 3, we later learned that there really is a Mandarin out there running The Ten Rings and keeping a low profile.
It’s been five years since the All Hail the King short film clued us in on the real Mandarin’s existence, and since then, not only have we not learned anything else about this mysterious individual, but the Ten Rings hasn’t popped back up either. However, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has now teased that we could see this terrorist organization and/or its leader in the coming years.
During a Reddit AMA, Kevin Feige was asked if there were any plans for The Ten Rings or the real Mandarin for the future. His response: a simple “Yes.” Just to be clear, Feige didn’t indicate what he was saying yes to. It could be just one of those things or both of them, but nevertheless, this gives us another little peek into what’s coming up for this superhero franchise.
In case you need a refresher, the Mandarin the world was introduced in Iron Man 3 was actually just a drunken actor named Trevor Slattery who the movie’s real villain, Aldrich Killian, hired to take responsibility for the ‘attacks’ across the world, when the destruction was actually being caused by Killian’s Extremis experiments. Killian later claimed that he was the real Mandarin, but outside of having some dragon tattoos, there was nothing about him that screamed true Mandarin.
Then, when Trevor Slattery was in prison and living the high life thanks to his fellow inmates respecting him, he was visited by a documentarian named Jackson Norriss, who was really a Ten Rings agent sent to break Slattery out of prison and deliver him to the real Mandarin. We haven’t heard anything about The Mandarin or Slattery’s fate since then, although it’s not unreasonable to assume that regarding the latter, Aldrich Killian’s former stooge is probably dead.
So for the sake of argument, let’s assume that both The Mandarin and The Ten Rings will appear in the MCU again. Where will this be? I previously suggested Shang-Chi would be a good place to bring The Mandarin into play, as he would serve as an effective substitute for the eponymous protagonist’s father from the comics, Fu Manchu, a.k.a. Zheng Zu.
One thing we won’t get to see The Mandarin do in the MCU is fight Iron Man, as Tony Stark sacrificed his life to save all of existence in Avengers: Endgame. Nevertheless, The Mandarin is one of those villains who’s antagonized all sorts of heroes in the Marvel universe, and given The Ten Rings’ reputation in the MCU, it would be easy enough to pit him against someone else.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend concerning what the future holds for The Ten Rings and The Mandarin in the MCU. For now, if you’re curious about what this superhero franchise has coming down the pipeline, head to our Marvel movies guide.