Tony Stark's nemesis in Iron Man 3 is The Mandarin (played by Sir Ben Kingsley), a brilliant terrorist and criminal mastermind from the Marvel comic books. People have been calling for his appearance since (or, rather, before) Iron Man 2 released, and everyone from Marvel Studio president Kevin Feige to star Robert Downey Jr. promises it'll prove worth the wait.
Recently-unveiled official character posters highlight important side players in IM3, including Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes (wearing his newfound patriotic War Machine armor) and Guy Pearce as the scientist Aldrich Killian, who may be working in alliance with Mandarin to eliminate the competition (re: Tony).
Kingsley's Mandarin costume takes inspiration from the character's traditional appearance in the Iron Man comic books (complete with the extravagantly colored robes and ten rings), but it also borrows from the look of real-world terrorists and eccentric war lords. The new IM3 poster adds sunglasses to his ensemble, making him all the more appropriate a villain for a Shane Black Iron Man movie; that is, menacing and threatening, but with self-aware style.
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As pointed out in our Iron Man 3 trailer analysis: Kingsley's Mandarin seems to have a penchant for perverting righteous symbols (see: his Captain America-themed "anarchy" tattoo) - and the sunglasses in this poster certainly smell like a dig at Tony Stark's flashy celebrity persona.
Stark himself has been seen sporting similar shades in previous films:
For those needing a stronger Iron Man fix, be sure to check out the following:
- 6 'Iron Man' Armors We Want In Marvel's Movie Universe
- Four Comic Books to Prepare You for Iron Man 3
- Iron Man 3 Extended (Extensive?) Super Bowl Trailer
Iron Man 3 is directed by Shane Black based on his and Drew Pearce’s screenplay. It stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kinglsey, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall, James Badge Dale, Guy Pearce, William Sadler, Jon Favreau and the voice of Paul Bettany.
Phase II of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins when Iron Man 3 releases May 3rd, 2013, followed by Thor: The Dark World on November 8th, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1st, 2014 and culminating with The Avengers 2 on May 1st, 2015.
Phase III starts when Ant-Man releases on November 6th, 2015.