‘All Hail The King’ Marvel One-Shot: The Mandarin or Loki?

Published 1 year ago by

Mandarin Loki Tom Hiddleston Ben Kingsley Marvel One Shot All Hail The King Marvel One Shot: The Mandarin or Loki?

With Thor: The Dark World now out of theaters, finishing a successful run with a $630 million worldwide haul, its imminent home video release made headlines this week when the British Board of Film Classification slipped up and posted a list of its features and content before Disney made it official. Alongside the usual bevy featurettes, deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes looks at the production of Thor 2 was another original short film – a new Marvel One-Shot.

While we still don’t know what this latest Marvel short is about, its title “All Hail The King” hints at a variety of possibilities on who it could focus on. No one at Marvel is offering concrete details but we do however, have a few facts and hints which have speculation pointing mostly towards two character possibilities: The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) from Iron Man 3 or Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from the Thor series and The Avengers.

In all of the Marvel One-Shots released so far (list below), the short films covered content not directly related to the home video release it shipped with. Take a look:

  • The Consultant (2011, with Thor)
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer (2011 with Captain America: The First Avenger)
  • Item 47 (2012, with The Avengers)
  • Agent Carter (2013, with Iron Man 3)
  • All Hail the King (2014, with Thor: The Dark World)

This trend would lend credence to the idea that this particular short is not about fan-fave Loki who already got a bump in screentime during the production of Thor: The Dark World when the big wigs realized he was again going to be a fan-fave scene-stealer. Most of Thor 2 reshoots added more of Loki to the picture but some believe that time could have been used to shoot a short film about him as well – perhaps adding a little more clarity to the film’s interesting conclusion. Marvel Studios executive producer Louis D’Esposito (and director of Item 47 and Agent Carter) went on record previously to admit he’s pushing for a Loki short, and is interested in one for Black Panther (King of Wakanda) as well.

Thor 2 The Dark World Official Still Photo Loki Chains 1024x422 All Hail The King Marvel One Shot: The Mandarin or Loki?

As much as we’d love to see Black Panther get some love, it’s simply not in the cards at this point in time with what Marvel Studios has planned for Phase 2 and 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Another character mentioned by our own readers is Black Bolt, leader of The Inhumans - one of the likeliest new franchises Marvel could adapt into a film in Phase 3 as well. 2014 would be too early to introduce an actor (see: the Vin Diesel theory) and character for a project that may not hit theaters until 2017.

This takes us to the other more realistic possibility, that All Hail The King could center on The Mandarin, better known as Trevor Slattery – a key character who polarized audiences in Iron Man 3. The “All Hail The King” title could be a reference to Slattery’s rockstar lifstyle of drugs and performing, and some rumors previously pointed to Marvel Studios attempting to re-introduce the character in a way that’s more in line with Marvel Comics – having Slattery meet the real Mandarin. That theory was seemingly shut down by Iron Man 3 co-writer Drew Pearce.

That doesn’t mean the short isn’t about Slattery though, as his tweet from yesterday may be hinting at:

What really makes the Mandarin speculation believable is that we know Ben Kingsley came into shoot a Marvel One-Shot and the timing is right for it to ship with Thor 2′s Blu-ray as opposed to late next year on the home video release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We’ll likely find out for certain shortly but for now we want to take this opportunity to see what you like to see from Marvel Studios’ latest short:

[poll id="744"]


More: Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray Details


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 31, 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 actually think I’ve already caught onto what’s going on. I think it’s a sort of Keyser Soze moment where “Trevor” always was The Mandarin and was using his rings in order to make himself seem like less of a threat to Tony and James. Allowing The Mandarin to take the data on Killian’s extremeis virus and escape unharmed

    yeah that would put him in police custody but it’s not like if I’m right he couldn’t just trick the police in the same way, maybe the way the rings work if that the illusion The Mandarin presents has to be something the intended person is willing to except (E.G – That the guy stealing Tony’s girl is behind the whole plot and The Mandarin is just some actor that Tony doesn’t have to deal with).

    Who knows Aldrich seems pretty insane at the end of the movie, maybe that’s not the virus but the effects of The Mandarin having used his rings on Killian for an extended period of time.

  2. Stop calling him the Mandarin. Even in the context of the film he was never really the Mandarin.

    • Lol. YES he was the mandarin. That was the point of the movie. He had Trevor dress up as a visual version while Alrdrich Killian pulled all the strings, gained powers from EXTREMIS and revealed himself as Mandarin at the end of the movie.

      It is just not the Mandarin we all wanted visually and power wise (10 rings).

  3. I see Loki meeting Trevor Slattery was the least popular opinion… but what about if Loki mind controls Slattery to become, well, The Mandarin? Just throwin’ it out there…

  4. Anyone who remotely enjoyed the portrayal of the “Mandarin” in Iron Man 3 cannot call themselves a fan. It was embarrassing. The first 40 minutes or so of him creating the video threats were absolutely badass and chilling, and then he’s suddenly a drunk. Typical Marvel though, as their train of thought (mostly with Iron Man) is “why make it dark when we can crack jokes”. There was no Mandarin, simple as that. RDJ sold out and hired his friend Dan Black so he could likely be the one controlling things. Far too much humor in a movie that was described as dark and chilling months before release. Sad that was the movie to launch phase 2 and had very little to do with the universe. Thor 2 was good, and I’m confident the others will be as well but RDJ and the new Iron man crew has grown tired and comical in ways they shouldn’t be proud of.

    • LOL, ironically, you do realize that you just called yourself a non-fan of Marvel too, right? You “Anyone who remotely enjoyed the portrayal of the “Mandarin” in Iron Man 3 cannot call themselves a fan.”

      But then you say, “The first 40 minutes or so of him creating the video threats were absolutely badass and chilling,…” That IS how the movie portrayed Mandarin for “40 minutes or so…” and you implied you liked it. So YOU DID “REMOTELY” enjoy the movies portrayal and therefore, according to your logic, you cannot call yourself a fan.

    • Have to disagree on at least two point here. First, I have been a comic fan for over 40 years, owned a shop for a few of those years, and I immensely enjoyed the Mandarin twist and Kingsley’s performance in the film. Second (actually this should have been first), who are you or me or anyone else else to say who is a true fan? Opinions differ (thank goodness) or what a creatively barren world we would be living in. I appreciated the creativity of it. I would certainly not think of suggesting you were less of a fan because you didn’t like it.

      My Hail to the King guess would be Trevor performing King Lear to a prison audience with perhaps a surprise appearance of a Marvel villain (and actor) we haven’t seen yet. Wait, even better, maybe Scott Lang or Eric – Irredeemable Ant-Man -(Paul Rudd) is an inmate at the performance? Wait, scratch that last cameo. I think they would save that for a post-credit sequence in one of the films.

    • Totally agree, iron man 3 was an embarrassment to the comic book and thor 2 at least
      restored some confidence in mcu by not doing further goofy crap. I dont think that its
      that some here are not fans, its more so they dont know the source material or some pretend
      To know and say they are fine with. The fact that hunger games 2 is about to catch
      im3 domestically should make them feel shame and embarrassment for allowimg
      drew pearce’s stupid and incoherent screenplay.

      • This whole “if you liked IM3 then you’re not a real marvel fan” is getting annoying to begin with of course a lot of us don’t know the entire history, marvel started this in the 1920s and secondly actually it’s not that those of us who liked it don’t know the origin story.

        I for one am personally still holding out on Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin being the real Mandarin having pulled a Keyser Soze on SHIELD and Tony Stark. I mean one of the rings that Mandarin wears creates illusions and can be used to mentally control people, it’s possible that it works in a way where he can control people in such a way that they believe it was their own idea.

        It makes way more sense since we’ve already seen The Ten Rings in operation but Aldrich Killian may not know that their an actual terrorist organisation OR was so deep into the illusion that he thought up reasons not to think about it. I mean it doesn’t seem likely that Mandarin would just go “Oh no you caught me, now my entire plan is ruined!” when he can CREATE ILLUSIONS.

        Trevor Slattery goes missing randomly and Mandarin has his own personal army strong enough to take down Iron Man armor. Plus I think Clean Slate was a way to give The Avengers a backdoor to shut down Ultron as in Ultron links up with Stark industries computers to take over the world and Tony activates the clean slate protocol causing Ultron to self-destruct.

        Did Iron Man 3 have too much humor? Yeah I’d say it did but even if you didn’t like it, even if we all universally except the twist was bad it’s the first bump in the road and you’re declaring it all ruined? This is Marvel Studios we’re talking about here, if they can play around with the stories then who can?

        Aren’t these the guys we want to get the Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and X-Men properties so badly?

    • Don’t give me that “You’re not a true fan b*******”. I’ve been reading Iron Man comics for the past 15 years and from the trailers the Mandarin looked like such a generic villain, just another American hating Idealist who wants to rule the world. I think the approach they took with the Mandarin worked perfectly because not only did Killian end up being a more than a physical threat for Tony but it added to his intellect, supposedly Tony’s greatest asset, yet he was out-smarted every step of the way. This made the Mandarin so much more than a scary guy in a robe, he was a terrifying idea. The very concept of terrorism is real in general, is well, terror. He’s not real, it’s all all smoke and mirrors but it gives America an obvious and easy to hate villain to take to reponsibility hence why Killian said,”The second you give evil a face, a Bin laden, a Kadafi, a Mandarin, you hand people a target”.

      The fact that it’s Killian who has constructed an image that he KNOWS Americans will be able to hate and fear is quite smart. It was a way of turning something that could have been politically incorrect into something that’s making a smart critique on the fear of terror culture with America. Don’t judge the bearded, ring wearing Mandarin under the robes that’s used to portray him, judge him on the man pulling the strings from behind the shadows. When you also consider the fact that most people can’t accurately articulate what a comic book accurate Mandarin is in the first place, the whole thing becomes even more dubious. To them, the comic Mandarin is some Chinese dude with magic rings. The interesting part is that neither designation is completely accurate, yet this is what so-called fans desperately wanted…after the fact. Jonestown and the Branch Davidians were a couple examples of a “mass of people” as well…I wouldn’t consider their beliefs as having much merit either.

      Aldrich Killian IS the Mandarin, something that many fans tend to ignore or outright deny. Accounting for the dissatisfaction from the so-called fans, they tend to use the Joker as an example, such as “what if Joker turned out to be a mascot who’s controlled by a scheming businessman and you say that that guy is the Joker?” Now, that comparison doesn’t actually work because the Joker has had one general consistent and very iconic look to his character: a guy in some purple formal wear, with white skin and green hair that looks like a clown. I can’t say the same about the Mandarin. I have yet to see the Mandarin make any sort of impact in the Marvel comics universe. Cartoons, toy makes and writers have always been baffled about how to present him and usually create incarnations of their own. He’s portrayed as everything from a sorcerer, to an ancient ghost, to a green-skinned alien, to a business man, to a teenage descendant of Gengis Khan in magic armour. Iron Man 3 isn’t doing anything new by doing their own version. In fact, the subject explored in a mini-series a few years ago in which The Mandarin forces a film maker to create a b******* story about him and the story is all smokes and mirrors and total b*******. Oh wait…nobody here reads comics. I’ll just have to say there’s a very good chance Shane Black happened to read that mini-series.So whether you like it or not, Killian IS the Mandarin so just deal with it.

      What many “fans” don’t seem to realize is that Kingsley’s portrayal of the Mandarin is not the ONLY depiction/appearance of the Mandarin within the comics. Lately the Mandarin has actually been portrayed as more of a suave businessman and scientist who manipulates people in the shadows unlike classic iterations of the character (sound familiar to anyone?).Last time I checked the current incarnation of the Mandarin is suave business man works in the shadows, owner of Prometheus use the alias Tem Borjigin, Maya Hansen works on the Extremis Virus for him etc. To me that sounds alot like Aldrich Killian.

      • Plus the comic book version of Killian sucks, he’s just some guy who steals the extremis virus and then kills himself. I didn’t expect Marvel to wish the talented Guy Pearce like that.

  5. now i’m thinking its Black Panther…with the Cap coming out and him maybe needing a new shield when Bucky catches it in the trailer.

  6. I could see the One Shot being Kingsley drafted to play the role of a King of some country. Hired by that country directly or put there by SHIELD.

  7. I could also see Drew Pearce’s comment “and one thing I know for sure: nobody’s going to be apologizing for the Mandarin twist any time soon” meaning that if an explanation were to be presented to correct the Mandarin twist it won’t be happening in any of the foreseeable movies planned (next two years or so).

    Any yes movies are planned beyond 2 years that but the details of them are just figurative at this point whereas the near-term movies are much more fleshed out.

  8. Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa to play the “real” Mandarin.

  9. WHAT IF…

    Trevor was the Mandarin the whole time, or becomes the next more powerful incarnation of Mandarin. Avengers Age of Ultron has him as a villain he creates a new terrorist cell with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as his minions. He has them steal Stark-tech to create Ultron or corrupt Ultron.

    That’s a good way to bring in a closer to comics version of Mandarin and a way to show more connection to Iron Man 3 and to A:AoU in an appropriate way without making it look like Marvel studios is trying to apologize for IM3. Just make it look like that was the plan all along…to have Ben Kingsley play a major villain for Phase 2.

  10. The fake Mandarin was a puppet being used by someone who was using real world symbols and events to create a terrorist mastermind. The Ten Rings cell from the first movie already existed but was just used for propaganda. The real leader, probably is someone with ten rings, if you see where I’m going with this.

    I liked IM3 and the Mandarin Twist, but in my opinion they still haven’t shut the door on the ring wielding version from the comics. Who likely, if exists in the MCU, is now very pissed at being used in such a way.

  11. Pretty obvious its Loki due to the **** Spoiler / Mild **** end of Thor Dark World…. Not really too difficult is it.

    • No, no it is not.

  12. No offence, Ben Kingsley is a great actor, but I’d prefer a Thor related extra on a THOR bluray than an Iron Man extra… The Iron Man movies were okay but the Thor ones are my favourites. I know that Marvel likes to mix things because of the MCU but a 14-minute extra about a character that isn’t even in the actual movie?! I’m disappointed because I’m not crazy about IM stuff.

  13. Heya, this is certainly such a delightful subject to know about.