Expect a different Mandarin in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings says co-writer Dave Callaham. Callaham recently spoke with Empire and warned fans to expect a very different version of the Mandarin from the one featured in the Marvel comics.
“Our version of the character is not The Mandarin in the way that people are expecting him to be,” Shang-Chi co-writer Dave Callaham teases in Empire’s cover feature. “‘The Mandarin’ is a title that has been applied to him in the past by people that don’t understand his culture. But he’s a much deeper character than I think a lot of people would expect.”
Of course the way it seems Marvel will do this is by merging the characters of Mandarin and Wenwu together. Shang-Chi had a troubled relationship with his father in the comics. This looks set to continue in the movie, but with Shang-Chi’s father also being the Mandarin and controlling the Ten Rings. Director Destin Daniel Cretton told Empire it was this father/son conflict which attracted him to Shang-Chi.
“It was for me the part of the Shang-Chi comics that I personally really connected to,” says Cretton. “It was really important for us to find the root of that anger and that pain. That was the goal from the get-go, and probably the number one fear of all of us was creating a Mandarin that was further contributing to the ‘Yellow Peril’ type of stereotypes that are still flying around.”
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I must admit, I was never a massive fan of the comic book villain Mandarin. He used to show up a lot in Iron Man back in the day as his main nemesis, and I think the idea was supposed to be technology versus magic. I just never found the character to be that compelling a villain. At least, nit in the issues I read. However what I always saw in Mandarin was potential. Let’s hope this potential will be realized in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
I now want, and expect a different Mandarin in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. What are your hopes for Mandarin or Shang-Chi in general? Sound off below.