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.
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.
@Jasper_CH I have now. And one thing I know for sure: nobody's going to be apologizing for the Mandarin twist any time soon.— Drew Pearce (@mrdrewpearce) October 29, 2013
That doesn’t mean the short isn’t about Slattery though, as his tweet from yesterday may be hinting at:
Belated happy new year, people. Oh, and #AllHailTheKing— Drew Pearce (@mrdrewpearce) January 3, 2014
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:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The 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!