‘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. Trevor antics while pretending to be the Mandarin is the logical choice here. Not a new Mandarin or a ‘real Mandarin’ because Marvel is better off continuing on the path they’ve already done with the villain. A retcon is them admitting they were wrong to do what they did in Iron Man 3 and I just don’t see that happening. Feige and crew will stick with the status quota for the Mandarin… I’m convinced and this is just another marketing ploy to get fans excited about something that won’t happen. Then those fans who wanted a real Mandarin retcon will be angry once again.

    • I agree with you. As much as I hate the Trevor Slattery/ Aldrich Killian Mandarin twist, and I mean i hate it, them backtracking on what they did doesn’t make much sense.

    • …status quota?

    • It might not be retconning though. I mentioned this in another thread and a theory to explain this was presented, I’ll get to it after I say my theory. But in IM3, Trevor does mention that he was given plastic surgery. What always baffled me about that is if The Mandarin is a completely made-up character, there shouldn’t have been a standard to be met in the first place.

      Someone replied saying it could be due to them not wanting Trevor to be recognized by someone who knows him, but we all know with non-intrusive techniques like make-up, facial prosthesis, in addition to the facial hair, the hair, and other things, you can easily make someone not recognizable. Plastic surgery suggests that there’s something very specific and somewhat drastic that needed to be represented… So to me, it could be that it was always planned that there was a “real” Mandarin, and then the imposter that would throw everyone off in IM3 (since they were expecting Tony Stark to show up).

      He doesn’t seem like someone who would be able to keep up the act improvising in an uncontrolled environment like outside of a set. And there are clips of him in what looks like places in the middle-east and what-not…

      I guess we’ll see. I admit it’s not very likely, but there’s enough there to speculate on in my opinion.

      • I could accept that, Ken.

  2. Marvel One Shots haven’t really introduced something “new” like a villain or new hero. They mostly have shown more sides to characters that have already appeared (with the exception of Item 47) so my guess is Trevor dancing like Elvis or something in his jail cell.

  3. Honestly, I feel they really screwed the pooch with 3, so just let it die. Although the Mandarin may have been a major player in Iron Man (dunno, was more of an X-Men fan growing up), there’s got to be more villains they can drag up and not ruin. And unless Iron Man 4 is going to be a reboot, then there’s no reason to make all the next Iron Man movies different renditions of the Mandarin until someone finally gets it right. Ya messed up with your crappy plot twist Shyamalan, now move on.

    • 100% agree.

    • I was hoping that if they did make an Iron Man 4 that it’d have Ezekiel Stane as the main villain and have a storyline combining elements from Armor Wars and The Five Nightmares.

  4. You do something wrong. People scream at you.

    You try to fix what you did wrong. People say why don’t you just leave it the way it is.

    Ahhh fanboy logic.

    • +1

  5. Rob find out if Sam Rockwell or Faran Tahir got tapped to come film with him…it might be a meeting in jail with Raza and Hammer …i’m dreaming i know

  6. Hopefully it’s the Mandarin, I personally have grown tired of Loki and would like to see the one shot focus on something more interesting than a villain we already know.

    The Mandarin twist was new and I didn’t see it coming.

  7. Vin Diesel as King Black Bolt… duh!
    Man I wish =(

  8. I want Loki stabbing Trevor Slattery for being an a**hole.

  9. I want Loki stabbing Trevor Slattery for being an *sshole.

    • I would love to see that! Good lord I hated that stupid twist. Really ruined what was otherwise a pretty fun movie.

  10. Perhaps Loki presenting Trevor with magical rings. Say, ten or so?

  11. I honestly enjoyed The Mandarin twist. That said, backtracking and retconning it would be a waste of time. Regardless of the reaction, Marvel should stick with their guns and move on. Besides, we did get the Mandarin– in the form of Aldrich Killian. Was it in the way we expected? No, but Killian himself stated he was The Mandarin, dragon tatoos and all. Call it underwhelming, but The Mandarin was there.

    Besides, the shorts were always just fun little bits meant to explain some stuff that wasn’t really crucial anyway (explaining what happened to The Abomination or Peggy Carter’s post-Cap life). So I doubt that they would be introducing anything major.

  12. I would like to see Black Panther.

  13. What if Loki is Trevor…..as a disguise like in Thor 2 when he is like Cap.

  14. I personally liked the Mandarin twist. Doesn’t mean I was crazy about Killian being the main villain (or the ‘real’ Mandarin, if you see it that way) but I don’t see what was so great or iconic about the comics Mandarin that it absolutely needed a faithful adaptation. Other than the fact that it was originally a pretty stereotypically racist caricature, of course.

    Anyway Killian is pretty much a near-proper Mandarin anyway – he’s got the scientific skill, he’s got his combat abilities, the only thing he doesn’t have are the ten rings.

    Pretty sure the short’s about the Mandarin, but probably not about retconning the twist (which would probably be a bad idea regardless of whether you liked the twist or not). Hopefully it’ll just be a fun and humorous short, like some of the others have been.

  15. I really want them to be referencing Black Panther, Black Bolt and the Inhumans, or even Namor (not sure if Marvel owns him)… However, I think this most likely be Loki because of the ending of Thor: The Dark World.

    • Universal still has Namor.

  16. I’m not a huge comic book fan at all, but I DO however think the Mandarin needs to be done right. I honestly think it would be amazing to see Kingsley in the role he was acting like in the first part of the movie, but now with powers at his side. Maybe up to this point, he’s been everything he said he was…an actor, but someone gives him the REAL 10 rings and his evil side is now exploited and he rolls with it. That would be interesting to me, little man who acts like big man now given big man powers and becomes drunk with it for real this time, recalling his theatrical days in how he goes about boasting and using it.

    The second way might be even more preferable to me. If they could somehow spin it so that Kingsley was actually in control the whole time and his whole “acting” bit sold everyone, even the audience, into thinking that he was really ‘just a face’ and used that alibi if you will to get away. Maybe he didn’t see Iron Man coming so in a last ditch effort, he sold out, told this incredibly elaborate fake story to escape and everyone bought it. That would at least be the sign of a true manipulator and certainly a good bad guy. Dupe everyone to thinking you’re innocent and then bring the pain 10-fold once you resurface.

    I just felt chills while Kingsley was going his thing as a bad guy and to write it off like that really sucked. He was PERFECT in that role and I wanted to see so much more, down to the voice, the charisma, everything.

    • Agree with your analysis. Lots a people keep crying about the twist but are now saying they don’t want it to change. 2 reasons why they SHOULD make Kingsley Mandarin

      1. they decide to go the route of him having been the one pulling the strings the whole time in IM 3. To me it would enhance the manipulation aspect of IM3, the “You’ll never see me coming.” IT would show that the terrorism of IM3 go higher up than we think and are probably connected to Cap 2. All it would do to IM3 is show that there were hire powers we didn’t see. It would show that Killian was power hungry and played everyone yet even Killian was a pawn to a grander scheme of Phase 2 involving Mandarin.

      2. IF they go a route of having him BECOME it shows that in terrorism we can cut “the head off” of a major terrorist group but another terrorist will grow in its place. They could show that, while in prison, he is mistreated and becomes angry. He is presented with power by Loki or whatever villain and (like you said) jumps at the opportunity. Heck, he already has the theatrics.

      Either way, none of those 2 routes forces the writers to apologize for IM3 twist. If anything it enhances themes of Phase 2 so far of Terrorism, Betrayal, and Deception
      A: Terrorism- IM3, Thor 2, and Cap 2
      B: Betrayal/deception- IM3(Killian, Trevor, VP of U.S., Maya Hansen, and we the audience), Thor 2 (Loki, Thor and his warriors against his father, Frigga’s holographic projections,), Cap 2 (possibly Redford’s character, Nick Fury, Bucky betraying U.S., possibly Black Widow)

      • Well said man, I also agree.

  17. I’m thinking Kingsley was called in to shoot scenes for Captain America 2. It would make sense to have him cameo since his character was heavily involved with terrorism and Cap 2 has terrorism. It would be a good way to tie IM3 and Cap3 together (possibly helping to bridge Extremis through Phase 2). Plus I thought Guy Pearce did a good job as “the real mandarin” so maybe he will show up in the One Shot.

    Most likely, All Hail the King lets us find out what happened to Odin and discusses Loki now as “King.” Could even have him rallying demons from Muspelheim.

    NOW, THE Ultimate fanboy hope is….Loki in a meeting with Black Bolt, Namor, and Black Panther (All kings) so he can try to persuade them into his next diabolical plan. Probably too early for that though.

  18. Why does the whole no real mandarin issue always come up? Killian was the real mandarin. Sure not with the rings and what have you but a potent villain none the less.

    • Yea I agree. But there is the opportunity to make Mandarin an “immortalized” terrorist if they want.

      Personally I never understood how people didn’t understand that, or are not ok with, Killian as Mandarin.

      He was super smart, good fighter, had some super powers like regeneration, fire breathing, strength,

      The really major difference from the comic is Mandarin ended up not having rings and not being from Asia. Either way he was a formidable foe cause of his deception and power.

  19. I understand that everyone has their own movie preferences, and to each his own. But I don’t think it’s right that people dog on the “fanboys” as they like to call them, for getting upset at such a drastic plot twist. Aldrich Killian was in literally two panels of the comic book Extremis before he shot himself. He was a nobody. Why they felt the need to expand on that character and make him the villain and turn the Mandarin, a very established and much-beloved classic antagonist, a complete phony is what I don’t understand. If they did it for comedic purposes, not many of us are laughing. Tony Stark is a funny character, we get that. But there’s no need to push the Iron Man movies any further away from the superhero genre, and into a full-blown comedy. What if someone did this in a Batman movie? Made the Joker into a fraud and turned someone like Harvey Bullock into a mastermind villain? Not so funny now.

    • while I understand your frustration I don’t think you can compare Mandarin’s status as a villain to that of Jokers. I am die hard Marvel fan so to me I understand the analogy but Mandarins role as a villain in Marvel is not near what Joker is in DC. However, a better analogy would be Magneto to the X-Men, Loki to the Avengers, or Green Goblin and Doc Ock to Spiderman.

      I hope they do something that expands on Mandarin in the movies but at the same time not erasing what they did in IM3. Have Trevor pick up the Madnarin mantle or have Trevor be the real Mandarin that was pulling strings.

  20. Im more of a DC fan so im not that into Marvel really, but when I saw IM3 I thought the Mandarin was the best villain id seen in a Marvel movie, he was awesome, then the twist came and it was like wtf?? why did they do that? They ruined him, and turned him into a joke! now they cant use the Mandarin again after that, I liked IM3 right up to that point, I thought it was a dumb idea..

  21. We still haven’t covered the connection between the 10 rings in the first movie and the mand. I would love to see the tie in and maybe have trevor get the ten rings and they make him become the real mand – the one we all thought he was. We get both the twist and the real

  22. “Introducing the real Mandarin for IM4″ seems to be winning the poll.

    Which is strange, considering we already met him. His name was Aldrich Killian. Guy Pearce played him. Maybe people missed that part.

  23. I don’t understand why they changed the Manderin, thinking that magical/aliens rings were not believeable when the Avengers for aliens and they’re planning to introduce the infinity gauntlet….aren’t they the same things????

  24. Also worth noting is that all of the One Shots to date have dealt with S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Carter was very early S.H.I.E.L.D. but it was still there. Now that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is in full swing and Cap 2 will feature a strong presence by the organization, now is the best time to change that, but statistically speaking that would be another hit against both of the main rumors.

  25. King Lear

  26. DO NOT EVER MENTIONED THE MANDARIN. WE WERE ALL COMPLETELY DISGUSTED AND INSULTED BY THE MANDARIN TWIST. Marvel should issue a very public apology to us real comic fans. Oh and zack sender deserves to be fired

    • i guess you should stop watching the movies and stick to the comic books….cause you will never be happy, do you react like this when they update anyone in the comics?

  27. I wish Trevor never happened. I do not complain a lot about movies, especially Marvel movies. But Trevor was a mistake. My non comic book friends thought it was lame before I told them that wasn’t the real Mandarin. I hope they leave this character alone or fix it. It’s like making Lex Luthor a metrosexual night club owner who hates Superman because the man of Steel turned him down as a sidekick. “I’m going to stop you Superman! You’re hair is just too perfect! I hate you Son of Kryptooooon!”

  28. I would love if they retconned or made it to where Trevor was the “real” Mandarin. Oh, and Drew Pearce can suck it

  29. Spoiler, no BS here

    Trever, will lose his mind in jail, and becomes the Mandarin. However, a god gives him a little help 8)

    Think about it a little.