Drew Pearce Talks ‘All Hail The King’, Runaways, The Real Mandarin & Marvel Future

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Marvel One Shot All Hail The King Drew Pearce Talks All Hail The King, Runaways, The Real Mandarin & Marvel Future

If you’re  fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Comics, then you’ll want to check out the All Hail The King Marvel One-Shot, the headlining special feature attached to the Blu-ray release of Thor: The Dark World. The Thor sequel hits retail this week but its bonus original content is all about adding more to the story of Iron Man 3 – arguably the most contentious release by Marvel Studios to date.

The thing with Iron Man 3, that despite its monumental success in cinemas around the world, it couldn’t shake the negative buzz from fans of the books who hoped to finally meet The Mandarin – the archenemy of Tony Stark in Marvel Comics who was long overdue for a big screen introduction. What the film delivered instead was a twist of sorts, where a certain organization (A.I.M.) used The Mandarin persona, hired an actor named Trevor Slattery to play him, and took advantage of the history of the mysterious Ten Rings terrorist group as a distraction for their own nefarious purposes.

All Hail The King brings viewers back to the life of Trevor Slattery, played by Sir Ben Kingsley, after he’s incarcerated for his actions working with Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) in Iron Man 3. Slattery finally has the fame he’s always wanted and is living it up as a celebrity of sorts in Seagate Prison, but not all is at it seems… Drew Pearce wrote and directed the short, and for fans still hoping for more on The Ten Rings, or simply want to see more Easter Eggs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is a must-watch.

We spoke with Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce (who took the time while battling a cold) who worked with director Shane Black on the story of Marvel’s second biggest film to date, the fifth biggest film of all-time at the worldwide box office, and we asked how that came to be and how fan reactions may have shaped the next short film from the studio. We also talk about the status of Marvel’s Runaways, the first script he wrote for the studio, and talk about what other project he’s love to work on with Marvel.

Drew Pearce Official Photo Disney Marvel Studios Iron Man 3 UK Screening Drew Pearce Talks All Hail The King, Runaways, The Real Mandarin & Marvel Future

All Hail The King writer & director Drew Pearce


Rob Keyes: You guys hit a home run at the box office with Iron Man 3 but of course there were some fans who were not down with the Mandarin/Trevor Slattery twist –

Drew Pearce: Were thereeee?

I’ve seen your tweets.


So my question is, when you came aboard Iron Man 3 with Shane did you know how the Mandarin story was going to play out and what input did you have on that?

Shane and I basically came up with it in his gigantic mansion in LA where we sat for ten hours a day for three months hammering out what we actually wanted the movie to be thematically, and we quickly latched on to the idea for Tony of false faces and the idea of the dual personality of Tony as an out superhero who is basically using his self-definition through the false face of Iron Man. We wanted something that would reflect that, not as an exact mirror but thematically in the bad guy characters. And at one time I came back from the bathroom and said, “Shane what if the Mandarin is an actor?” and it escalated from there. Now, I did not come back from the bathroom and pitch an alcoholic, British lovie with a pair of hookers in his bed and an incredibly detailed history in local British theater but that is weirdly what it turned out to be.

Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin in Iron Man 3 Drew Pearce Talks All Hail The King, Runaways, The Real Mandarin & Marvel Future

For the last two Marvel One-Shots, Item 47 and Agent Carter, I spoke with Louis D’Esposito who directed those and he said he had a ton of ideas, half a dozen ideas for future One-Shots he wanted to do, but he said there was a specific plan in place for what the next two were going to be – When was it decided that Trevor Slattery was going to be the focus for this one?

We originally ruffled it up on the set of Iron Man 3 in North Carolina – in fact the very first day Sir Ben [Kingsley] did Trevor Slattery. But as is with the nature of all the Marvel One-Shots it kind of came in and out of vogue and then we were sitting down last year with Louis [D'Esposito], Kevin [Feige] and Joss [Whedon] and a couple of the brilliant creative execs there – the producers like Jeremy Latcham and Stephen Broussard – and it was Joss who said, “if we really can get to Sir Ben Kingsley for one of these shorts that is absolutely the short you should be doing.” And so I rewrote what I had and I kept in touch with Sir Ben over the time after the shoot and so I sent it to him and he said yes. And suddenly it was all go. The real thing of nothing happens with a One-shot and then BAM suddenly you’re doing it.

Did the reaction to Iron Man 3 and how the Mandarin story played out help dictate what the short was about?

It’s weird because that was kind of the last thing that was on our minds, certainly my mind. It was really the interest, purely and simply, of getting to play with Sir Ben and Trevor Slattery again. Obviously some of the reaction plays into the dialogue in it but as far as the storyline goes – obviously avoiding spoilers though everyone has illegally downloaded the short by now anyway, so “what spoilers?” -

I actually just felt like it was in the lineage of the information we already dolled out in the movies. In the first movie there was the Ten Rings and in the second movie there was a deleted scene where the rings appear again, and in the third movie we were quite clear in the movie and in the press that there was a mantel that had been co-opted by Killian – partly because if we hadn’t said that it would have completely invalidated a huge part of the first movie which is Raza works for The Ten Rings. So for me I was just joining dots to be honest and using that to give the short some drama and some form of momentum. I didn’t want the short to feel like just a skit. I felt like it had to earn its place in the MCU so that was really the driving force behind it.

Well speaking of spoilers since all the information is kind of out there already -



Thor TDW All Hail the King 4 700x425 Drew Pearce Talks All Hail The King, Runaways, The Real Mandarin & Marvel Future

There are some pretty important things for Marvel Comics fans in All Hail The King. Seeing more of the Mandarin story is one thing but there’s also the Seagate Prison location and we get to see some familiar names like Jackson Norris [Norriss in Marvel Comics] – even Fletcher Heggs [Who goes by 'Knight' in Marvel Comics]. Can you tell us about your motivation behind putting those pieces into this short?

Well historically I love an Easter egg more than most and so I love ramming the stuff that I do as a writer, director or showrunner on No Heroics – There is so much Easter egging that it’s not even susceptible to the human eye. For example, Fletcher has a tattoo on his face of a Chess piece. Fletcher isn’t on screen for very long so I don’t get to feature it so you don’t get to see it. He has a little Chess pawn on the side of his face. So there’s a ton of stuff in there that’s all meant [to be]. There’s a very fine line between what I ruffle up as I sit here in my underwear writing a short and what is what other Machiavellian ten-year plan of the committee and often those two things symbiotic. Oddly symbiotic. To a degree I think the fun thing to do is stuff it full of MCU and some of it sticks and some of it remains just a kind of charming nod.

Of course the big reveal is that the Ten Rings is still out there and there’s a mysterious, seemingly darker Mandarin still out there behind the scenes. We have to ask – is that something that pops up down the road in the films?

Well that really is a question above my pay grade unfortunately. I think the short is ambiguous enough about what or who the Mandarin is and that could take a lot of different forms. Whether that’s a form that’s depicted in future Iron Mans or Avengers or TV properties I have genuinely no idea at this second in time. I definitely wouldn’t know that.

The Ten Rings in particular feel like a very powerful part of the MCU because they are there from the very first movie. I guess that halted the first movie but they’re seeded deep and when I turned in a draft of All Hail The King one of things – can’t stand to list the things that were exciting for Kevin – but like still on that list was the idea that this is actually the first time we see someone genuinely vicious by a figure in the Ten Rings. That’s why it’s important that that action in the short felt very real and brutal, otherwise it felt quite comedic up until that point. Plus it serves the short itself. Trevor is at his funniest when everything around him is incredibly serious and real and life threatening because what makes him so ridiculously brilliant and unique as a character is that he does not respond to anything the same way any other right minded human being in the world. And that’s what heightens the comedy – him as a comedic anomaly is what makes this comedy funnier I think. It all fitted with pushing the reality of the dark reality of Seagate [Prison] and putting him in it.

Iron Man 3 Action Drew Pearce Talks All Hail The King, Runaways, The Real Mandarin & Marvel Future

I was going to ask you if you had the power to convince Robert Downey to do Iron Man 4 but I think you just answered that for me.

I have literally zero power. If you take the concept of power I can barely stand near the description of the concept of power. I have no power whatsoever. Would I love him to do it? Yea, if there’s another story. The whole thing about Robert and Tony is that they are so symbiotically linked at this stage that unless it’s a story that’s going to genuinely excite Downey there’d be no way that movie happens.

Speaking of films we want is there any update on the Runaways film that brought you into Marvel?

Oh I wish there was an update! No, as it stands at the moment it’s still a script that Kevin, I believe, feels very fondly about. Whether it has a place on the runway of Phase 3 I genuinely don’t know. I wish I could say something more concrete. It’s definitely on a pile, where in the pile it is top to bottom I genuinely don’t know, but it’s a movie that’d I love to see come to fruition. It would be an extremely fresh and original point of view through which to explore the MCU. I really hope someday it happens.

I’ve been following that since Brian K. Vaughan put it out; does it have any chance of it maybe coming to TV or showing up in another Marvel One-Shot?

Who knows maybe, I think it’s very tricky to do a One-Shot of it because the toughest part of making Runaways is casting the under-twenties and getting it right, and that’s going to take some time and you’d never have the resources to do that for a One-Shot.

They’ve been talking for TV but my worry about it for TV, and again this is probably above my pay grade too, is that the fact that they are kids predicates a kiddier tone for the show. And I’ve said it a couple of times before but in a ridiculous and grandiose way my model for the tone of the Runaways was always the Godfather rather than a family show. This is about a crime syndicate, truly powerful from the get-go, a deadly crime syndicate, and the realization of a bunch of kids that their parents not only are fallible but are borderline or truly evil. And the idea of being drawn into that is of course integral to the first arch of the Runaway story which [Brian K Vaughan] so brilliantly mapped out. So that was always weirdly my touchstone. I think it would be very hard – I don’t know because I don’t know the people who work at ABC Family or whatever – but I think it would be tough to walk in there and go “I want to make the Godfather.”

Marvel Runaways Movie Drew Pearce Drew Pearce Talks All Hail The King, Runaways, The Real Mandarin & Marvel Future

Marvel’s Runaways

Netflix it man! Netflix it!

Yea maybe. But again, it’s that weird thing, and maybe it’s the reason why the Runaways is a tough thing to make it’s very easy to see and very exciting to see how you go “This is Daredevil, this is a Netflix show.” It’s very hard to go “this is a show with a poster with 6 kids on it who are [affiliated with] Marvel but this is a show essentially for grownups.” So I think that’s the trick of Runaways and I think the key is if you do it as a movie you somehow manage to tap into all those things simultaneously. The great thing about casting it would be though is you’d probably be going slightly more unknown with the teenagers. I love the idea that you just cast the shit out the parents in it. You know, the Denzel Washington Runaways would be a truly magnificent way to approach the property.


Ya, I know. It’s good, right! As you could tell I remain truly jazzed about the Runaways to this day but unfortunately my jazzedness has no bearing on whether it gets made.

With Runaways, Iron Man 3, and now taking charge of All Hail The King it feels like you’re part of that tight-knit Marvel family. Is there anything else you’re working on for the studio or putting it another way, if you could pick any Marvel character or property to do a full-length feature film on – outside of Runaways – who or what would that be?

The answer to that is – I think actually before the other Drew [Goddard], or as I think of him, the better Drew, took on Daredevil it might actually have been Daredevil, but right now – and my obsession for years – has always been Damage Control. I think there’s an amazing Phase 3 movie to be made about Damage Control which looks at the MCU through the prism of both the kind of blue collar superherodom and also the repercussions of in many ways like the superhero epoch on the rest of the world. I think you also need it to be a brilliant and exciting story but as a group of people, almost as a movie about firemen or public servants in the MCU, I think you can create some genuinely exciting that looks back over 10 years and three phases of MCU – tied it together – but also told an entirely different perspective of the superhero epoch that we’re all living in at the moment.

The [Damage Control] comics themselves were brilliant but ridiculous and patchy but I think the idea of it goes well beyond the meta comedy of that stuff and actually does a thing that Marvel movies do a lot but that you could go further with which is the real life implication of some of these events without forgetting that what defines the MCU is its simultaneous ability to tap into a realistic, real life feeling which often comes through the reality of the characters rather than a slavish, super dark world where it sat in. So I love the idea that Damage Control would incorporate both that kind of reality with the sense of humor and some of the lessons that Runaways has for example, and also in a strange way, the One-Shots exemplify as well – the ability to color in the corners of the MCU. That was a very long answer. (laughs)

I appreciate it though, thanks for your time. I hope you feel better soon!

Aw, thank you very much. Thank you for taking time to talk to me! Thanks man!


More: What’s Marvel’s Phase 3 Schedule Looking Like?


All Hail The King ships with Thor: The Dark World on 3D Combo Pack (3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, Digital Copy), Single-Disc Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand and is available now.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie news!

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  1. I truly believe that Guardians of the Galaxy is the most important Marvel Studios film to date, even more so than the first Iron Man. Because if Guardians is a success, that opens the studio up to be confident in all of their properties, including the Runaways. Here’s hoping that the general public embraces the cosmic universe this August.

    • It’s going to be a smash, even if everyone spent all their money on Godzilla, Captain, Spiderman, and Planet of the Apes. Haha.

    • Why is everyone so worried that Guardians of the Galaxy will be a flop? Judging by the trailer it looks like a smash hit. So what if the comics weren’t so popular? I believe this movie will make its comic book counterpart popular and relevant in the future.

  2. It’s irritating as a fan that they clearly approached this film as a comedy. RDJ is hilarious and perfect as Ironman, but that doesn’t make the film a comedy. You don’t need to force slapstick and Comedia del Arte into something to make it entertaining. Screw Drew Pearce and all the ideas he has while he’s taking a dump because that’s all their worth anyway.

  3. This guy is friggin brilliant & Marvel should lock him down for a good long contract. Iron Man 3 was the best CBM of 2013 by far & the twist was just great. Only hardcore comic book nerds didn’t like it & who cares about those few guys. The wide & vast majority loved it, (1 billion plus haul at the box office proves that) & rightfully so. Marvel is an unstoppable force right now & guys like this help make that possible.
    If you didn’t like the brilliant twist go cry to your mommy, everybody else is sick of hearing you whine about it.

    • If it wasn’t for “those few guys” you wouldnt have an Iron Man 3 movie to love. Thats something I dont get with the people who say you shouldnt keep to source material. Source material is important to those of us out there who make the comic books what they are (success wise), and without the comic books being successful, there would be no movie.

      • +1. Well put.

      • By the same token if they did not make changes there may not be another movie.

        They are obligated simply to do what they believe will work best and it is hard to argue with a take north of a billion dollars.

        Actually it’s impossible to argue with that.

        • Actually, it is exceedingly simple to argue that point. Just because the movie was incredibly (I would say RIDICULOUSLY) $uccessful says NOTHING about how good or bad it was…it was crap. Pearce and Black, hopefully, will not lower the standards of the upcoming phases any more than they already did Phase 2.

          • Guess what, guys. Archaeon still doesn’t like Iron Man 3.

            • That is absolutely true. Thank you for emphasizing that point. I appreciate the assist.


      • Not to argue on the importance of source material, but being realistic… it wasn’t a large fan base that brought Iron Man to the big screen. The fact that it was relatively unknown to the general public was probably a lot of what made it interesting, because it allowed them to make changes and only upset a small minority.

      • I agree with you somewhat. You should have the source material as a guideline, but as for adapting it exactly on page to the screen, that’s what I wouldn’t like (granted, it has worked in the past with some movies, but generally, I don’t like it).

        Seriously, I spent cash on a comic, and let’s say they adapt it into a movie, I don’t want to see the same plot, the same shots, the same dialogue. That’s very boring to me. Use the comics as a guideline (a set of rules to follow by, if you will), and have the writer come up with their own story. Unless it’s only one shot graphic novels your basing them off of, then that is a whole nother discussion

        • Right, but that’s the thing about comics. The branding is recognizable to a lot of people, but few people actually know what it’s about.

          So when you do something like put Raas al Ghul in Batman, nobody cares that it’s Liam Neeson, or that there are no Lazerus pits, or that Bane doesn’t have anything to do with venom.

          I mean, yeah, some people care, but nobody KNOWS. You can benefit from the branding with the general moviegoing audience, but meanwhile tell whatever story you want and only get backlash from a minority.

          Same thing with LOTR. It’s basically a fantasy blank slate. Peter Jackson has pissed off a lot of Tolkien fans, but he didn’t make it for them. He made it for the people that didn’t care about the source material, because those are the majority of the people that will watch the movie.

          I’m not necessarily supporting that perspective, I’m just looking at this pragmatically. It is not the fans that bring movies to the big screen.

  4. No shout out from Drew Pearce to Dazz? I think if one person earned it since the movie came out, it is Dazz.

    Much like myself with ‘The Hunt’. Frankly, if it wins and I do not get invited on stage, offended significantly be I.

    • Are you sure that Drew and Dazz are not the same person? That explains the Mandarian and Trevor…

      • You just Oliver Stoned my mind, Sir…

        • So, how is the shooting for Vibe going?

          • Still to yet agree on the size of the codpiece. I consider a mammoth codpiece integral to the characterisation of my human side. They do not. Frankly, the whole project is in jeopardy right now.

            • Now you just Oliver Stoned my mind….and I find I kinda like it. :o

    • +1 my friend I adore The Hunt and will be dissapointed if it doesnt get best foreign.

  5. It was the least favourable film of the IM trilogy. It made good profits because the Avengers left and imprint on the audience. But the average reviews from critics, movie goers and fans alike are there for everyone to see, so much hype, so little substance.

  6. All hail The King: I was not impressed by this weak attempt at–what? Justifying the Iron Man #3 foul-up with Mandarin? A bad idea that blew up in the writers’ faces, and they still don’t want to admit it. Giving us now a REAL mandarin would not totally earn everyone’s forgiveness and gratitude, but if done excellent-out-of-this-world, might mollify a few of us (slightly).

    Runaways: don’t need that; more important things to work on. Where is Goliath and Wasp? Black Panther? Inhumans? Kang? Still, a little progress has been made: Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Vision are on the horizon. But the biggest problems among the successes often come when one steps away from established canon.

    • We never met the real Mandarin in Iron Man 3. The movie made that clear. Killian had nothing to do with The Ten Rings organization we met in the first movie. The real problem is that so few people realize that.

      • thank you Robert

    • I agree! No Mandarin is like no Joker for Batman… It’s also like X-Men not yet having Apocalypse and no Superman movie ever including Darkseid… hopefully Justice League takes care of that.

      • @ Ed,

        Sorry man, Mandarin doesn’t carry the same iconic weight as Joker. Mandarin may be Iron Man’s most well known villain but that doesn’t me he at level with Joker.

        Now, not having Magneto or Apocalypse for X-Men? Or Doc Ock and Green Goblin for Spidey?

        Those equate to Joker

        I say all this as a Marvel fan first but I do love me some Batman!

        • Good point. My point was not that he carried as much weight, but he IS Iron Man’s most significant villain… as I have read in the hundreds of issues I own…

          • Definately agree man.

    • Which established cannon should they not step away from?

  7. Damage Control? Really? Of ALL the marvel properties that would make great a movie or television series, Damage Control is the one he’s most excited about? Isn’t Agents Of Shield basically damage control? A movie like this getting made means the properties that truly deserve to be adapted will be put on the back burner… no thanks.

  8. I wonder if they’ll make the Mandarin the”clairvoyant”…

    • ohh…Interesting thought….

      Maybe some of his 10 Rings tech allows him to read minds!

      I still think it will end up being Leader in Agents of SHIELD

      Im hoping that everything MCU is doing is leading up to a mass fight between major Avengers and Masters of Evil (main villains from each of the major Avengers) , …

      Leader or Abomination (Hulk)
      Mandarin (Iron Man)
      Enchantress and Executioner (Thor)
      Baron Zemo(Cap)

      Would be cool to see Loki and Thor team up against Enchantress and Executioner!

  9. Unfortunately, because of profits of Ironman 3, we will continue to get more comedies from Marvel/Disney. I.e. Guardians of the Galaxy, Agents of Shield, Avenger Assemble. Hopefully Cap 2 will be different. So glad WB/DC exists to give us more grounded movies.

  10. Ignoring the mess up and then obvious backtracking on the Mandarin, IM3 completely shat on the “Extremis” story arc and yet again wasted Rhoadey. Turned the armour into break-away tat and stuffed it full of various unsatisfyingly wasted Iron man suits.

    IM3 had way more wrong with it than the Mandarin nonsense. The ten rings business was obviously being subtley set up from IM1, but was ignored and now this explanation is being shoe-horned in. They aren’t fooling anyone IMO.

    IM3 is the worst Marvel film I’ve seen.

    • they didn’t mess it up. if u actually paid attention to the interview, drew said we haven’t been introduced to the real mandarin YET. they did it on purpose to build things up to eventually reveal the true mandarin..

      • Oh I paid attention. I just don’t believe it. Such an convoluted set up. It’s like they’re not making a jigsaw, but gluing a vase they’ve dropped back together.

    • FYI, Iron Man 3 didn’t introduce the real Mandarin. It had another character using the persona though. We still haven’t really be introduced to The Ten Rings leadership.

      • I don’t think it’s possible to stress this point enough.

        By that, I mean I’ve gotten the impression that no matter how hard it is stressed, people still don’t/won’t get it.

    • Out of the dozens of different complaints IM3 receives there is one that just never made sense to me, and that is this claim that Rhodes was somehow misused and poorly treated. Yes, I personally enjoyed the film, but I can totally understand where the detractors come from. At least on most of the issues. But I just…. Okay, I get it, you didn’t like the movie. But do you honestly think Rhodes was wasted? I still remember coming out of the theater, turning to my brother, and being like, “Oh my god, Rhodey! James Kicking Butt For My Country Rhodes! He was so freaking amazing! How amazing was Rhodes! Just – ahh! Can’t even believe how awesome Rhodey was in this movie!”

      So, yes, clearly I’m something of a fan and I will admit to there being a bias. But even stripped of the fan-goggles, I still feel like he was pretty impressive. You can point out to some of the more embarrassing moments like when they kidnapped him, but that wasn’t Rhodey’s fault at all. That lies on the shoulders of the US government for (once again) out sourcing the upgrading the War Machine armour but that goes along with the themes of the trilogy and the whole Iron Patriot identity. When Killian decided to force him out of his suit by literally cooking the man alive at such a high temperature the computer systems failed and booted him out did Rhodes just give up or try clinging to the suit for protection. No, the man came out swinging! He literally jump punched out of the air into Killian’s face!

      Later when the president was being held captive on the old oil tanker, did Rhodey even hesitate? He went in after his president with two pistols, not a hell of a lot of bullets, and a drunken rich pretty boy as back up against a team of highly trained near invincible soldiers and didn’t lose a step. Let me remind everyone that at this point Rhodey didn’t know that Tony had a walk in closet full of suits coming to lend them a laser shooting hand. All he knew was that his president was being held captive by a mad man who creates human bombs and breaths fire, and no one threatens James Rhodes’s president!

      Really, considering the circumstances and what all was going down around him at the time, it is freaking impressive (although not surprising) that Rhodey goes after the president in the first place. He could have easily left that job to Tony’s suits but then he wouldn’t have had the chance to Tarzan swing past a giant flaming pit of explosions after shooting out the support wire keeping him and the president from taking a sure-death fall. His rescue involved jumping from crates suspended three stories in he air, makeshift ziplining with an oil fire at his feet, fighting off invincible Extermis guards and all with nothing but a single gun and a whole lot of gumption.

      I won’t argue that he could have gotten more screen time or in on a little more action; after he saved the president it would have been cool if he’d been able to stick around. I get why they needed him out of the way, though, and it fit that he would assist the president to a safe location. No point doing all that saving just to dump his ass alone in the ocean. In the end, though, I feel like what screen time he got they made worth it. They achieved what they were looking to achieve, which is to show off Rhodes skill as a solider outside of his suit. His did not have much in way of a character arc but he served the story by, well, partly by helping Tony save the day but perhaps more important by making such a beautiful compliment to the film’s themes. Like Tony, we find that Rhodey is more than his suit. It doesn’t matter if you call him War Machine or Iron Patriot or just plain old Rhodey, he is still a hero. You get to see why it is Tony would trust Rhodey to wear the armour.

  11. This guy should go back to cleaning toilets at Burger King. His writing is terrible and Iron Man 3 was so bad, it came close to Catwoman as the worst comic film ever. The fact that everyone thinks this guy did such an amazing job is beyond me. The guy is a hack and he ruined the Mandarin character forever. Iron Man 3 was the first Marvel Movie I wanted to walk out of. After the bid reveal, I felt like a donkey had kicked me in the face and the whole time he just kept laughing. Anyone who liked this movie should be ashamed and should turn in their comic-book fan carrying card.

    • I think that is the point….it seems to be striking me that there is a segment of non-comformist in the population which seems to be enjoying picking on the “comic book fan” by belittling them and taking pleasure at all alterations to the materials.

      Like those guys on the beach who kick sand on the boy so they can look tough. Its “cool” these days to watch a jacked up comic book movie and then get online and berate the fans who made the characters possible for decades so that they are even there to be on the screen in the first place.

      I feel sorry for them but its there 10 minutes in the spotlight.

    • This comment seriously made me lmfao. Well said sir!

  12. Clearly the clairvoyant is not someone overly dangerous.

    Talking via eyeballs? Putting huge silver metal centerpedes on people. Powering up people and then watching hem explode and destroy parts of cities. Yet they want to remain secret and hidden.

    I don’t even get why the “clairvoyant” seems to be seer one minute and completely in the dark in the next. I am starting to wonder if Harley got bored waiting for a DC movie to hire her and wandered over to the Marvel studio soundstage.

  13. This guy loves to reference that he wrote “the 5th highest grossing film of all time”, he should be thanking Joss Whedon because without him and the success of Avengers this wouldn’t have done as well. Just because a film makes money doesn’t mean its good… Twighlight anyone? Im pretty sure those made buttloads of money but no self respectable person would say they were good.

    Iron Man 3 wasn’t a bad film, I actually just re-watched it last night and I did enjoy most of it, but I still maintain that the twist was not a good idea. It was funny in the moment, but it was dis-respectful to the movies that had preceded it. There was so much talk about how the Mandarin was such a racist parody of a character, and it was so difficult to adapt. They did it! The Ben Kingsley take on the Mandarin was pretty great, and near spot on for what I wanted (can’t speak for everyone…) and now if down the road they do make an IM4 or use the real Mandarin in another film, there will have to be a very different characterization than in IM3. So now I have to hope they can re-imagine the character again in a fresh way? not holding my breath on that one…

    I think he tried to cover his ass in the film by multiple explanations, first Killian explains that he was just the man behind the scenes, but then later he says during his showdown with Tony he says “No more false faces, you said you wanted the Mandarin, you’re looking right at him. It was always me Tony, right from the start, I AM THE MANDARIN!” right before Pepper magically comes back and takes out Killian. And now he really just co-opted the mantel from a real 10 rings group that exists but has some greater plan in place…

    The twist should have been left in Shane Black’s bathroom… this guy is just making s*** up as it goes along, trying to fill the empty space with slapstick humor about a faulty mk 42 suit, and way too many inconsistencies (the suits don’t work for Rhodey because they are only coded for Tony, because of the implants he put in the beginning of the film… but it can also work for Pepper…) I could go on but I would really just be nit-picking. I have enjoyed these movies, even with their flaws, its just frustrating to know they could have been so much better.

    On a final note, I recently just got around to reading the 6 issue Extremis run of Iron Man, and its even more disappointing that they chose the weakest elements of that story to be included. Tony dealing with the fact that all his technology was no match for extremis, and taking a version of extremis himself in order to defeat the threat, and then the subsequent ramifications of hard-wiring himself into a suit, are all fascinating. Also the idea that AIM is a group of brilliant (and somewhat mad) scientists committed to the overthrow of world governments through technology, is really intriguing. I hope they go back to AIM in some form or fashion, whether it be on AoS or somewhere else in the MCU, because including them in IM3 was pretty much pointless…

    • Where did Drew Pearce say that in any interview?

    • The reason Rhodey can’t use the suit isn’t because of the implants; Tony codes the suits to only accept certain people so that no one can just walk in and steal one of his suits. This is addressed in IM2 where that exact scenario appears to play out with who else but Rhodes climbing into one of Tony’s old armours and taking it out just like that. Only, as Natasha and Fury explain, that could never actually happen since Stark has heavy security measures in place to protect against those precise situations, finally getting Stark to admit that he’d set up the system to read and accept James Rhodes thus allowing his friend to get away with one of the suits. All that is done since Tony is dying and wants to see that Iron Man goes to good hands, he wants to leave it with someone he trusts to do the right thing. In IM3 his focus has shifted to protecting Pepper should something happen to him. It’s exactly what he did in the second movie, just this time he’s coded the suits to him and Pepper instead Rhodey.

      Ouch. Best friend knock down a place by the girlfriend. That always sucks. Sorry Rhodey.

    • I have to politely disagree with you on the Mandarin. Specifically on the idea that the version they had given us pre-reveal was a good representation. For starters, I think he was still a racist caricature, he just wasn’t a racist caricature that was embarrassingly old-fashion. He was an updated stereotype based in modern fears in much the same way the original was based on “the yellow peril”. The movie even makes a comment to this effect.

      Part of what makes the reveal so clever (and, unfortunately, what makes it so divisive) is how effective it is at setting up the Mandarin character as someone who plays right in to our ideas on what a terrorist looks like, what he acts like, what he does. His whole persona is a manufactured to be a stereotype and since part of our image of a terrorist threat is an amalgamate of many different ethnicity, but it is one that is definitely “ethnic” and mostly middle eastern. It’s an incredible clever play on the comicbook Mandarin, who was created as a villain meant to represent all of America’s worst fears and stereotypes our perceived enemies. The MCU Mandarin is exactly the same thing, it’s just that instead of being racist because his creators were the writers now he is racist by purposeful design, and his creators exist in universe.

      I have seen a lot of fans suggest that if Pierce and Black had simply left good enough alone and given us what we see on the tin that the Mandarin would be the perfect character. What they fail to take into account is that if they remove the big reveal you change everything about the character. I mean, just for starters, there is no way that you would get Sir Ben Kingsley to play the role if it were just the Mandarin, no Trevor. Okay, I shouldn’t say that. Maybe – MAYBE – Marvel is lucky enough to land Sir Kingsley, but I’m doubtful, and even if you did he wouldn’t be the same. Half or more of what makes him such a great character is what Kingsley puts into the role and if you change the actor or give him a less appealing role to work with (and without the Trevor bits, regardless of what you think as a fan, you have to see how that is clearly a less appealing role). Even if you ignore the casting, though, when you take away the part where he is a fictional character, he no longer works. He doesn’t make sense! Suddenly you have to address the fact that he is apparently a middle eastern baptist preacher who studied in South America and with the added bonus of random Eastern Asian influences. If he’s the creation of a think tank than all of this works perfectly well, but if the Mandarin is his own guy then it seems like the only solution is still that it is all theatrics, as Tony says, leaving us with the question of who is the Mandarin, really? Either way he isn’t the guy who appears in the trailers; he can’t be, that guy makes no sense. And like I said, when you take out the idea that he was a manufactured product you make it okay that he’s a racist stereotype because that is the whole perhaps, but without that excuse than you just have a character that is a racist stereotype.

      Besides, if the problem is that he isn’t like the canon than how is changing him to the pre-reveal Mandarin helping anything? He still isn’t anything like his comic book counterpart. I mean, instead of a Chinese mystical kung-fu master scientist and randomly obsessed with Iron Man (basically every writer who tries him desperately tries to find a way so that he makes sense, but the truth is the original reason he fought Iron Man is because he was Chinese and thus evil) he becomes a middle eastern guerrilla terrorist. Even if you go with the more modern interpretation of the Mandarin as a Chinese businessman using the professional setting to invade Stark’s life and slowly destroy him he is still nothing like the film counterpart. In fact, to be honest that sounds far more like Killian than Trver’s Mandarin.

      Yet despite the fact that he wouldn’t work separated from the concept as Manufactured!Mandarin and the whole not actually being like the canon sources, people still insist that the whole film would be improved by having this fake version of the Mandarin be the real thing. Why is that? Well, like I said, it’s all down to Trevor doing his job too well. The whole goal was to create a monster – someone that everyone would see and automatically assume was the terrorist threat they desired. His entire purpose is to be so perfect, to be this grand mix of everything America imagines and fears that no one would go poking any deeper, no one would look into crimes or the background because he would present such a perfect target that no one would be interested in the truth. Not when they were presented with the ideal villain for the piece. It’s kind of sad how well that worked, how attached people became to the whole idea of this terrorist threat parody. Because that is what the Mandarin is at it’s core. The whole Trevor identity is only meant to draw attention to how hilariously over the top and farcical the Mandarin character truly is and yet people are drawn to it because it gives them permission to openly villainize these racist stereotypes.

      • Wow, that is some brilliant analysis. You’ve made me see this movie on another (greater) level. I hope other people read this and realise the deeper meaning that can/should be taken from the identity twist.

        • I’m actually too sick to fully remember what I wrote, but if it helps someone enjoy the movie a little more than I’m glad that I wrote it! Thank you so much, that made me feel a little less sad about fighting to keep myself conscious to write all that.

      • That’s exactly what makes it so upsetting. Black uses the excuse of racism to create his own version of the character (even though he hasn’t been Fu Manchu for over 2 decades), and his own version is racism! Complete hypocrisy. And this is the guy who’ll be in charge of the American Death Note. Guess we can expect more whitewashed BS.

        And you really should so some research before you start making these false claims. The Mandarin was not meant to represent American fears at all. Stan Lee was tired of writing Russian commies for Iron Man to fight, so he created this fascist, magic-wielding Chinaman. Later writers decided to make him a part of the communist villains, hence the Fu Manchu alterations, but that was not Stan Lee’s intention. If you think Stan Lee’s a racist you must be crazy.

        Oh, and please tell me you’re joking with this Ben Kingsley quip. He’s a great actor, but he’s one of those actors (like Sam Jackson and Nicolas Cage) that appears in like EVERYTHING they’re offered. Prince of Persia, The Dictator, and The Love Guru are all stupid films he’s appeared in.

        No, if you remove the idiotic Trevor bits and add the magic rings, what you have is the antithesis of Tony Stark and not some outdated political message. Osama bin Laden’s dead, the majority of the country doesn’t buy into this fearmongering BS the Bush Administration grew popular on, and only the most feeble-minded associate brown people with terrorism. You’re trying to justify something that no one goes to the movie’s for: realism. I don’t want to deal with politics when I watch a superhero film. That’s why the first two Iron Man’s worked; everything was tongue-in-cheek. It was as though Black was pissy at Bush, yet didn’t have the balls to create an original work to criticize him.

  14. Funny thing for everyone bashing IM3 its nearly got an 80% on RT along with a quality Cinemascore. It made buckets of money at the cinema. Every time I watch it I find something new that occurs to me about the exact nature of the relationship between the 10 Rings and Killian.

    Its sad that when movies spoon feed the audience we bash them (rightly so) but when they fail to do so, we bash them as failures.

  15. Scrap Damage Control movie. They will be better reserved for a TV series.
    Bring out Black Panther for phase 3.

    • +1

  16. I haven’t even read the article yet – but I say CONGRATS !!! finally a 1st person interview – PLEASE do more stuff like this and the more you do – the more access you’ll get to the bigger name actors, directors, producers, etc

    Rob – I know SR has had previous 1st person articles before but they seem so few and far between – I don’t even remember the last time I read one on this site.

    and as I’ve posted previously – turn ScreenRant into a source of news – not just a “analyzer” of other sites breaking news

    – also to all the readers who hate the Iron Man 3 “twist” – just have patience – I’m confident Marvel has something up their sleeves that will make all the haters eat their words.

    • Hi “guest” we actually have had quite a few of these recently as we do more TV interviews (Kofi for the Thor 2 cast, The Awkward Moment cast, etc.) and we have several freelancers in LA doing interviews for a BIG pile of movies coming up. So stay tuned for those!

      BUT I was lucky here because junket interviews are usually 3 minutes long and in this case I got to chat with Mr. Pearce for a good 20 min and just have fun on the phone.

  17. this would have worked much better as a mid/post credit scene. It changes the universe more than a one shot should. How is the average movie goer going to understand that twist when it shows up later.

    Because i knew the leader of the ten rings was somewhere, I actually had less problem with the mandarin than the way the left out the idea of tony hard-wiring himself into a suit. Its more accurate to then say, “i am iron man,” then to say that after blowing up all his suits.

  18. I believe that the Mandarin should have some part in the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That show loses viewers every week and by having the real Mandarin take part in it in some way, could benefit the show if they do it right.

  19. Good interview. It’s nice to hear his thoughts on this. I really don’t understand all the hate IM3 gets here. I don’t frequent other movie sites, but literally every person I know that saw it loved it. I get that Tony wasn’t Iron Man for a lot of the movie, but so what? There was some great character development, which is something people usually want instead of just action. As for the Mandarin, I guess I just don’t care. They left it open enough that a “real” Mandarin can still show up. As for marvel movies being too funny, why is humor such a bad thing? I like grounded movies, but if all movies were dark and brooding that would be kind of boring. Personally, I prefer to watch movies that are more on the humorous side. Maybe that means I’m not a real movie/comic book fan. Whatever. I enjoyed IM3 and Thor: TDW the most out of their respective series. It’s just my opinion, but it gets old to hear people say things like their opinion is gospel.

  20. If it helps, I am right there with you. There are a variety of reasons certain movies “click” with certain people, I don’t understand why having interests in a different aspects of a film would disqualify someone from being a real fan. In fact, for the longest time I had only seen that point brought up either in a parodied version of an overreacting fan or else in posts like this addressing the general accusation so I wasn’t even sure it was one of those things that actually happened. I was honestly shocked the first time I came upon someone calling people out for not being real fans for such things as liking certain movies. What a subjective area to pin someone’s entire geek card on.