It was about three months ago that Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley confirmed that he would star in a new Marvel One-Shot short film, and January brought us the first images and preview clip from the project, now titled All Hail the King. Tonight, we've got another teaser scene for you to feast your eyes upon, as well as some additional details on the mischief that master thespian Trevor Slattery is set to take part in.
The 15-minute short catches up with Slattery during his stay in Seagate Prison (which Marvel fans will recognize as the correctional facility that future Netflix star Luke Cage escapes from prior to becoming a "hero for hire"), and documents a journalist's (Scoot McNairy) in-depth interview with the man who once terrified the world as the villainous Mandarin.
While Iron Man 3's now infamous plot twist involving the Mandarin's true identity has become a true point of contention among fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kingsley himself still has nothing but love for the Trevor Slattery character, to the point where he almost didn't want to stop playing him. Kingsley told USA Today:
"I realized I really enjoy playing this total odd concoction of a survivor, a great opportunist and, when you think about it, not a bad actor. The worst aspects are the most endearing aspects of Trevor: his vanity, his narcissism, his pomposity, his total indifference to the real world around him. They all come out in this extraordinary interview."
One of the hilarious sequences fans can look forward to seeing in All Hail the King involves a flashback to a past role played by Slattery, long before his days working for Aldritch Killian. Putting on his best Sean Connery accent, Trevor once portrayed a dashing Russian secret agent, complete with bad wig, luxuriously fake mustache, and a Miami Vice-style white suit.
Writer-director Drew Pearce imagines Slattery as sort of an alternate universe take on what might have happened if Kingsley's career made a few wrong turns:
"He definitely wouldn't be a sir and he'd probably be living in a bedsit (boarding house) in West Kensington with two other old actors. The idea that we Trojan Horsed that into a superhero blockbuster is both ridiculous and also quite exciting."
In typical Marvel fashion, a possible Luke Cage connection won't be the only nod to established continuity present within All Hail the King. As Pearce first pointed out to MTV a few days back, the clip above features a young star-struck prisoner that excitedly asks Trevor to drop into "Mandarin" mode. That character has a tattoo by his eye, and although it's barely visible in the clip itself, Pearce assures us that it's a chess pawn.
Couple that tattoo with the fact that Trevor calls him Fletcher, and it's obvious that Pearce is referencing Fletcher Heggs, otherwise known as The Knight. Heggs was a member of a group of assassins called The Chessmen, a cabal formed by one Obidiah Stane. Whether this easter egg holds a deeper meaning for an upcoming Marvel film is anyone's guess, especially considering that Stane (Jeff Bridges) was killed off in the first Iron Man film.
In the end, not even Kingsley himself seems to know the true Trevor Slattery:
"He's not easy to quantify, and I don't now what surprises - if any - Trevor has up his sleeve. But I love playing the complexity and the complete unpredictability [of the character]."
What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Are you looking forward to seeing Trevor's character expanded upon? Or were you one of those fans who didn't like the twist in Iron Man 3? Let us know in the comments.
All Hail the King will be included as an extra on the Blu-ray and DVD releases of Thor: The Dark World, which hits shelves on February 25th, 2014.
Sources: USA Today