‘Iron Man 3′ Going Full Circle With Ten Rings?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated May 3rd, 2014 at 7:40 am,

Iron Man Ten Rings Iron Man 3 Going Full Circle With Ten Rings?

The story of Iron Man began with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) getting attacked and captured by a terrorist group known as the Ten Rings while demonstrating a new weapon his company developed for the U.S. military. That moment not only began the origin story of the titular hero who managed to build himself an arc reactor to sustain his health and power his armored suits, but it may have set the foundation for the events of Iron Man 3.

The Ten Rings was a shout out to Iron Man’s archenemy in Marvel Comics, the Mandarin, and refers to the literal ten rings that the Mandarin wears, rings with alien origins. The Mandarin character has been the talk of fans and those involved with the production of Iron Man 1 & 2 since the outset. Days after Iron Man 2 hit theaters for instance, back when it was a given that Favreau would helm number three, he – like Iron Man 2 writer Justin Theroux – made it clear that Iron Man 3 would have to introduce the Mandarin but they were unsure about how to handle the Ten Rings aspect of the character.

“You’ve got to do the Mandarin… The problem with the Mandarin is that the way it’s depicted in the comic books, you don’t want to see that.

“He has 10 magical rings — that just doesn’t feel right for our [franchise]… 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.”

With Ben Kingsley playing Mandarin in Iron Man 3, the Ten Rings will make a return, but it’s a mystery as to how. This unsurprising fact was confirmed today by Latino Review who managed to acquire photos of one of the production’s crew hats which has the film name on the back, and on the front, the Ten Rings logo as depicted in the original Iron Man (pictured up top).

Iron Man 3 Hat Ten Rings 570x333 Iron Man 3 Going Full Circle With Ten Rings?

At Comic-Con this summer, director Shane Black flat out confirmed the speculation of Kingsley’s role before playing several minutes of footage from the film, a sizzle reel that concluded with a 360 degrees shot of Kingsley in full Mandarin costume, ten rings and all.

Mandarin is undoubtedly the leader of the Ten Rings organization and it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that Iron Man 3 is going to do something similar to that of The Dark Knight trilogy in that the villainous faction in the origin story will return with its background fleshed out in the third installment, bringing the series full circle. It may be explained that the Mandarin had a lot to do with the events of the first Iron Man that saw Stark kidnapped in order to build weapons of mass destruction, along with many of the events in his family’s past.

In the books, Mandarin embraces and uses technology much like Tony Stark. He’s sabotaged military tech (including Stark weapons and vehicles) to turn them against other nations during their multiple encounters, and from the footage we’ve seen already, we know that in Iron Man 3, Mandarin sends attack helicopters to destroy Stark’s home.

Mandarins ten rings 570x558 Iron Man 3 Going Full Circle With Ten Rings?

We also know that the Extremis technology from Warren Ellis “Extremis” miniseries is playing a key part in the story and that Mandarin will attempt to use it for very bad reasons. What we don’t know is how the rings factor in. So far, the “Ten Rings” a name and a symbol representing a terrorist group. The origins of the logo and why Mandarin wears them are still a mystery. Black has compared the Iron Man 3 screenplay to that of a Tom Clancy thriller with “real-world villains” – seemingly removing any possibility of the Mandarin having supernatural abilities – but could we be in for another twist where the Ten Rings are of supernatural or otherworldly origins?

In the comics, the Mandarin character discovered a crashed alien ship and that’s where he acquired the rings. We keep hearing Iron Man 3 is very “grounded,” but with Thor and The Avengers taking moviegoers to other worlds and realms, the idea of ten alien rings are not that much of a stretch.

Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black based off of his and Drew Pearce’s screenplay, and stars Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, Cobie Smulders, William Sadler, James Badge Dale and the voice of Paul Bettany.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014 and The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Latino Review

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  1. Ten Rings a menacing villain, can’t wait for this film. Especially since they cast Ben Kingsley for the role, AWESOME.

  2. Man I can’t wait for iron man 3!

  3. Wow. What if the rings come from Odins vault? I doubt the rings will be of too much significance. I love Mandarin and maybe he’ll have a robotic Fin Fang Foom.

  4. Since Shane Black said that they’re going to use more real world villains in this movie (although, that is starting to look all the more unlikely with the set photos and news) I always assumed that meant the return of the Ten Rings.

    Still, however obvious it was, it’s nice to see confirmation.

    I’m hoping they’ll work a conspiracy theory/angle into the story (about how the Ten Rings has been involved with Stark’s life ever since he was kidnapped and maybe even shed some light on their involvement with the rest of the MCU – as hinted in the Black Widow tie-in mini series).

  5. With all the info about IM3 that we’ve heard could it be possible that this will be the last stand alone Iron Man film? At least with Downey playing Stark?
    I’m sure that he’ll be back for The Avengers 2 but after that things could change. Especially if they tie the 3 Iron Man films together and it plays like a trilogy.

    • As I know he has a 6 picture deal with Marvel. With Ironman 3 we have 4 already, so 2 to go.

      • He also appeared in The Incredible Hulk, so that would make one left.

        • But it was a cameo and not an entire movie with him. I don’t think that they count this in.

          I believe he has to be in Avengers 2 & 3, but it is hard to believe that there will be no Ironman solo-movie between Avengers 2 & 3.
          Maybe marvel can persuade him with some extra $$$, or he has so much fun playing Stark that he wants to make more spontaneously ;)

          • Actually from what I read RDJ was only contracted for 4 movies before The Avengers made it big. They were able to get him to sign for one more (Avengers 2). This will probably be the last solo IM film we see with RDJ.

            Chris Evans was contracted for 6 movies, not RDJ. Unless you guys can show me the link that says otherwise.

            • PS I would love to see RDJ for more movies. I love the guy as Stark!

            • I fear you’re right, I mixed it up with Evans.
              To Bad, so after Avengers 2, they have to replace him, if they don’t pay him enough. That could be hard for Phase 2, with a new Stark.

  6. Was the Mandarin costume in the comic-con footage another iron suit or just a regular costume?

    • It was the class Mandarin costume with robe, long hair, etc.

      • Where is this footage!!!??? I know its coming but I am eager with anticipation!

  7. Given Thor, I don’t think it is a stretch to label them as Alien Tech, which is what they actually are if I remember correctly.

    I remember that the IM2 novel actually tied the Ten Rings into the plot in a quick scene where the person who got Vanko the documents to get him in at the race was from the Ten Rings. I thought it would have been cool to have that be in the film when I read it as it would have helped establish them as working behind the scenes.

  8. like the logo

  9. Saw that coming A MILE AWAY.

  10. Does this mean no IM4??

    • Definatly not. Just maybe without RDJ.

    • Do we really need an Iron Man 4??? I say we move on to other characters that deserve a shot and a full length movie.

      • Maybe not, but we need a Avengers 3 with RDJ, IMO.

  11. Mandarin to Iron Man is like Loki to Thor. Going full-circle with the 10 Rings and Mandarin as a battling super-villain is wanted and needed!!

  12. “You’ve got to do the Mandarin… The problem with the Mandarin is that the way it’s depicted in the comic books, you don’t want to see that.

    “He has 10 magical rings — that just doesn’t feel right for our [franchise]… 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.”

    Errm, WHAT? Did you not even bother to read the source material you were writing out???!

    The 10 power sources ARE alien tech that the Mandarin finds and MOLDS into a more conventional shape. Seems to satisfy all those “problems” so what is the big hairy deal again???

    • Yup for the life of me i never understood Favreau’s comments there. its alien tech. Found on a crashed alien ship. The aliens looked like dragons. Madarin took the artifacts (powered the alien ship if im not mistaken) and fashioned his rings with them. Once done he mastered their use. Its not asgardian tech but much better than what stark has.

  13. Cool can’t wait for IM3

  14. Is it me or is anyone else thinking that maybe Mandarin could potentially be the Avengers 2 villain?

    • No Thanos is the villian for Avengers 2

      • Thanos is “a” villain of Avengers 2. Doesn’t mean he’s the only one or the primary one ;)

        • Thanks you Rob.

  15. why does everybody try to make these movies grounded i hate that

  16. so looking forward to this!!!

  17. Iron Man (2008) is a fantastic film and I definitely love the way this project seems to be heading towards to in terms of plot and tone. I think Iron Man and the Avengers (2012) are the best the Marvel Cinematic Universe “Phase One” has to offer (Captain America comes to a very close,honorable, position).

    I enjoy the interesting premise of grounding out and trying to make a very much stand alone feature with Iron Man III after the success of the Avengers. I would have assume the project -along with the other “Phase Two” films- to have continued increasing scale but returning back to the basics of the first film and creating a much more serious tone caught me by suprise, and I like it.

    Personally I liked how Iron Man was able to fully balance the comedic aspects with the more dramatic and serious tone while giving an air of tangible plausibility in this fantastical world with emphasis on character and a flair of real danger and logic. The Avengers was a great film who accepted the mre campy premise and still manage to create great character relationship and comedic beats while offering all the thrills especialy in third act.

    Both got the same rating for me (4.5) but if I had to choose the tone and feel of how Phase 2 should be then Iron Man III has got it right with replicating what worked in the first Iron Man. “Phase One” became a bunch of fun entries that offered up the staging of charaters in position for the Avengers film that offered thrills and laughs but some were reduced to formula rather than taking risk such as Iron Man.

    Iron Man II may have tred replicating the first film’s structure with a bit more action and comedy but that was not the key: it was a character story in which the danger feels tangible and very real with a tone that the projects takes itself earnestly while still being exciting.

    The ’10 Rings’ organization making a return to the franchise along with the Mandarin will defintely offer up a mix of old and new challenges for Tony Stark. The rings being alien tech would make much sense now the Avengers has been produced and can open connection to other beings or events in “Phase Two” while not sacrifcing much screen time or the self-containment this film seeks to achieve. A real-life threat mixed with the fire power of the fantastic has been dealt before (Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger) but perhaps with the tone and feel that Sane and Co. want to achieve will place the danger in a realm of plausibility and tangible enough in which our, the audience, attention is the character and their fate rather than the wonder or set pieces- that would be still exciting as always but much more enjoyable.

    • ^+1^

  18. What I dont ‘like’ I guess is what The3rdBorn eluded to. If I am supposed to believe a 130 pound man can fabricate 1 ton of personal mass and contain it inside his frame, If I can believe a man in a metal suit can fly and take slug fire from a jet, If I can believe the lore of Norse mythology is really aliens why cant I believe in the supernatural/magic?

    Marvel has a rich history and believeable explaination of magic and the such. Why not use it?

    While I can see Thor/Asgard being explained as aliens….. why not branch out why must everything not believeble be explained as aliens…. magic is just as alien as alien…… :D

    • As an apparent fellow comics fan, I feel the same way. The problem is that people who would be embarassed to call themselves comic book fans will always think many aspects of them are just plain cheesy and can’t be responsible for making a finished product that contains such “childish” or “silly” concepts, I think. That is, imho, why many super hero movies and shows of the past have been childish and silly; simply a general disrespect to the source material.

      As more and more movies and shows are successful and earn tons of money, and I’ve mentioned this before here, I find it interesting how many comics fans seem to emerge from their respective closets, though I believe most are just helping out the marketing :P

      • I hear ya. What I cant wait to see is what they do with Dr. Strange. I will find it difficult to beleive that the ‘Eye’ will just give him all his powers and it explained off as an alien artifact.

        Dr. Strange is a deeper (especially with his origin) character then that. If done right I could almost watch his origin in two parts. His life 30 mins before the accident, his issues after the accident and his quest to find help.

        Second film would cover his accpetance, betrayal and advancement into being the Sorcerer Supreme.

        His is almost like Spiderman as he had it all, lost it and found something else more powerful changing his outlook in the process.

  19. I think the term “grounded” should be used relatively. Obviously, Iron Man lives in a world where there are aliens, gods from other dimensions, and multiple extremely powerful artifacts of magical/supernatural/alien design or origin. It’s hard to stay grounded after that. Tony Stark has the ability to design and engineer technology while in the capture of terrorists that exceeds what can be done today by the most powerful corporations and enterprises. Tell me that in itself is not something approaching magic.

  20. If these rings come from Odins vault as well, it is officially the worst secured vault in history!(and Thanos doesn’t have the gauntlet yet)

  21. Cobie Smulders is going to be in this?! Oh god, yes…

      • Your opinion is yours of course but I love Smolders in the roll. I say keep her coming.

      • I agree that hill has a more latin look in the comics, however, I think that Cobie did a good job in the role.

        • She had 4 lines…

  22. This is the movie IM 2 should have been (without the Extremis angle).

  23. I’ve always thought that RDJ looks like Chuck Norris in the above photo.

    I would rather the ten rings be of supernatural/alien origins. Will IM3 be continuing on after The Avengers story-wise?

  24. There’s a rumor that the budget only allows for, like, 8 or 9 rings.
    But it will still be a great movie!

  25. The Chitauri could be a potential source of alien technology for Mandarin. The Nanotechnology of the extremis story, could be written into the film as originating from stolen/acquired/given tech from the Chitauri(Skrull technology given by Thanos? Make Ironman the best he can be THEN defeat him. Thanos likes a challenge, a death duel). This could provide an explanation away why the all the chitauri died when the mothership was destroyed. All power and control to the nanotechnology was lost?
    So the rings could be the control devices for Chitauri(Skrull) and/or nanotech themselves. The Mandarin could be a puppet in something much bigger. This would ensure the Ironman trilogy stays as real/grounded as possible whilst still tying it in with the new Avengers franchise.

  26. I am too quite curious about how kingsley looks as classic mandrin, as I believe that would look awesome. Also in reference to previous comments about appearance and steroetypes. First off if I remember correctly, I may be off here, but I do believe that the Mandrins father was in fact a BRITISH ambassador, part of the reason he was believed to be cursed was because his mother married him. Also, he wasnt really steroetypical back in the ’60s, and also if they want to counteract the whole evil chinese thing they include the radioactive man. I am curious about whats going to happen, but that just has to wait for the movie, through the trailer will be great. and I think the patriot armor will be great, I am a fan of classic costumes, I am actualy hoping hawkeye will don the classic gear in the later movie.
    remember there is always a solution to everything, and the result ought to be interesting.

  27. She had 5 lines