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Screenwriter Drew Pearce explains how the big twist in Iron Man 3 came to be

Dec. 19, 2013by:

It is December 2013 and IRON MAN 3 came out more than six months ago and is ranked as the highest grossing film of the year. Forgive me if I don't think spoiler alerts apply to this film any longer. But, in the event that you want to preserve your knowledge in case you are waiting for Christmas to get the Blu-ray of the movie, please turn back now. For the rest of you, read on.

IRON MAN 3 screenwriter Drew Pearce has so far not said much about the character twist in the movie that enraged many fans of the Marvel superhero and his arch-nemesis. Still, many considered it a cool update to the character for the Cinematic Universe. Pearce was recently asked by Vulture about what the hardest scene he has ever had to write and he indicated it was when Tony Stark learns the true nature of the man he has come to know as The Mandarin. Take a look at an excerpt from Pearce's comments and head on over to Vulture for the rest.

Hopefully, the movie's done well enough by now that this doesn't count as a spoiler, but we obviously chose to take a direction with Sir Ben Kingsley's version of the Mandarin that has a huge surprise. He turns out not to be the thing that the movie — and the marketing of the movie — purports him to be, which is this canon-based archnemesis to Iron Man. It gets to the trickiest thing of all the superhero movies out at the moment, which is: What makes for an interesting villain? Often, they're just there as a dark reflection of the hero, but Shane Black, who directed Iron Man 3 and who I co-wrote the movie with, told me that the key to making massive movies in this machine that will try to sand the edges off of what you write is to go into it with bold strokes. For the Mandarin, I'd been kicking around lots of ideas about false faces and terrorist pop stars and I was really worried about telling Marvel — I thought we'd get strung up — but Shane said, "Fuck 'em, this idea is kind of indelible. We should run towards it." And to both of our surprise, when we pitched it to Kevin Feige, who's the president of Marvel Studios, he took it in and said, "I love it." He'd been trying to crack the Mandarin concept since the first Iron Man. The Mandarin was actually in the first Iron Man up until six weeks before they shot it!

In the end, I don't have a problem with the twist itself or the marketing they used for the film. The poster advertised Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin, the trailer called him The Mandarin, and all of those involved with making the film called him The Mandarin. To then find out he is not is a difficult thing to grasp and if the character were not so iconic, I am sure the masses would have agreed. But, imagine if we watched THE DARK KNIGHT and found out two-thirds of the way through that this awesome performance by Heath Ledger was a trick and the real Joker was Harvey Dent. It feels like a cheap shot to comic fans, especially since Guy Pearce's Killian ends up being such an under-developed villain. His big "I am the Mandarin" only to be quickly dispatched was anti-climactic as well.

Going back and re-watching IRON MAN 3 I can appreciate the twist more, but I still think the rest of Killian's plot was under-developed. What do you think? Do you buy Drew Pearce's explanation and motivation?

Source: Vulture

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7:28AM on 12/23/2013
before I saw the draft for $8347, I have faith that...my... friend was like realy bringing in money parttime from their computer.. there aunts neighbour had bean doing this 4 less than 23 months and recently took care of the dept on their mini mansion and bourt a brand new Mercedes. why not check here http://www.jobs64.com
before I saw the draft for $8347, I have faith that...my... friend was like realy bringing in money parttime from their computer.. there aunts neighbour had bean doing this 4 less than 23 months and recently took care of the dept on their mini mansion and bourt a brand new Mercedes. why not check here http://www.jobs64.com
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1:35AM on 12/21/2013

Still doesn't work.

I just don't think the twist works. Period. A great movie twist should always shatter your expectations, taking what you assumed was mundane and making it fantastic. When you peel back the curtain and reveal less than what everyone was expecting, it should be no surprise that the audience leaves feeling let down. Thats why the twist in The Prestige and The Sixth Sense work so well. What if we discovered that the "dead people" Haley Joel Osmett was seeing were only puppets and actors hired
I just don't think the twist works. Period. A great movie twist should always shatter your expectations, taking what you assumed was mundane and making it fantastic. When you peel back the curtain and reveal less than what everyone was expecting, it should be no surprise that the audience leaves feeling let down. Thats why the twist in The Prestige and The Sixth Sense work so well. What if we discovered that the "dead people" Haley Joel Osmett was seeing were only puppets and actors hired by Bruce Willis as a therapy method? (We'd basically have The Village). My opinion of the film has only gotten worse as time has passed, seeing it for what it is: a poorly conceived plot point, relying on marketing and fanboy expectation to enhance the charade, that ultimately backfired on the film makers, and left the majority of audiences feeling like they took a dump on their birthday cake. I know what they were going for, and I think it would have worked greatly within another movie with original characters. But fanboys have been itching too long, and the studio has been teasing us with the ten rings as far back as Iron Man 1. It just didn't work, and as great as the rest of the movie is and as fun it is to watch Ben Kingsly, the whole movie still feels like a failure to me because of that one decision. The twist isn't a bad idea, it just feels like they knew they could never get the Mandarin as evil and interesting as he needed to be, especially in the shadow of the great villains we've seen over the past few years, and they just said "f*ck it, lets not even try." They had the opportunity to create something really menacing and dangerous, and they even got it right for the first half of the movie. I think that's the worst part: knowing it really could have been so much more and yet never knowing exactly how great it really could have been.
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+0
3:14PM on 12/20/2013

Really? Because I'm pretty sure the conversation went like this.

Shane Black: Dude, Drew! I'm so glad we finally get to meet together! I just watched Fight Club the other night and there was this one part that I think's really going to influence the way I handle the story on this one. But first I've got to ask you a question, what do you think is the most beautiful part of these films that Marvel makes?

Drew Pearce: Well, I guess I'd have to say it's the trust that their fans have in them. How the studio knows how much these characters mean to the fans,
Shane Black: Dude, Drew! I'm so glad we finally get to meet together! I just watched Fight Club the other night and there was this one part that I think's really going to influence the way I handle the story on this one. But first I've got to ask you a question, what do you think is the most beautiful part of these films that Marvel makes?

Drew Pearce: Well, I guess I'd have to say it's the trust that their fans have in them. How the studio knows how much these characters mean to the fans, and the fans know they respect them they also respect the material. Sure, they might have to make little tweaks here and there when transitioning things to the screen but they always remain faithful to the root of the character and would never change something just for the sake of change for for a cheap surprise. To me that's genuinely beautiful. By the way, what did you mean by that comment about Fight Club influencing you> What part was it?

Shane Black: The part where Edward Norton says "I want to destroy something beautiful." Great comment by the way, I'm really going to take that to heart!

Drew Pearce: Oh...
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+3
12:55PM on 12/20/2013

It was a flip of the Ra's al Ghul twist

in Batman Begins. I liked it and thought it made the movie that much more memorable.
in Batman Begins. I liked it and thought it made the movie that much more memorable.
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1:26PM on 12/20/2013
Yeah, good point
Yeah, good point
1:38PM on 12/20/2013
But in Batman Begins they fleshed out the concept of who Ra's al Ghul is and at the same time developed Liam Neeson's alter ego that when the twist came you could buy it and you could understand where Liam Neeson's Ra's was coming from. Overall it was a natural transition from who you thought was Ra's to Liam Neeson being Ra's and it flowed with the story.

In Iron Man 3, I have no issue with the twist at all. I don't think it was necessarily needed but it certainly didn't detract from the
But in Batman Begins they fleshed out the concept of who Ra's al Ghul is and at the same time developed Liam Neeson's alter ego that when the twist came you could buy it and you could understand where Liam Neeson's Ra's was coming from. Overall it was a natural transition from who you thought was Ra's to Liam Neeson being Ra's and it flowed with the story.

In Iron Man 3, I have no issue with the twist at all. I don't think it was necessarily needed but it certainly didn't detract from the story. What did detract from the story is that there wasn't a really great explanation of why Killian needed to use the Mandarin as a front. If he was doing all of this stuff in the shadows, why have a public front in the first place? The concept wasn't bad, they just didn't flesh it out well enough to gel with the rest of the story.
3:38PM on 12/20/2013
I agree with MickLoud, my issue isn't really with the twist itself. Sure, I would have loved to have seen The Mandarin actually be the big bad in the Iron Man Universe, but what killed it for me was the way the twist was handled. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises handled well and Iron Man 3 just handled it lazily.
I agree with MickLoud, my issue isn't really with the twist itself. Sure, I would have loved to have seen The Mandarin actually be the big bad in the Iron Man Universe, but what killed it for me was the way the twist was handled. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises handled well and Iron Man 3 just handled it lazily.
12:21PM on 12/20/2013

I agree...

with the writer of this article. The strange development, or anti-development, of the character didn't ruin the flick for me,personally... but it was a bit of a groaner. Almost a cheap plot device, with an impotent payoff. And not NEARLY as clever as Black thinks it was. The only ones who really thought it was an earth-shattering twist were those who had a preconceived notion of the Mandarin. It's not like we didn't already know Killian was a bad guy when the "truth" about the Mandarin was
with the writer of this article. The strange development, or anti-development, of the character didn't ruin the flick for me,personally... but it was a bit of a groaner. Almost a cheap plot device, with an impotent payoff. And not NEARLY as clever as Black thinks it was. The only ones who really thought it was an earth-shattering twist were those who had a preconceived notion of the Mandarin. It's not like we didn't already know Killian was a bad guy when the "truth" about the Mandarin was revealed. The tell-tale cue here is, "but Shane said, "F*ck 'em,"
Yeah - that's sort of why some fans had an issue with it. He F*cked them.
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+10
9:32AM on 12/20/2013
It wasn't only the twist. The film started out so strong, Mandarin was menacing, Tony had PTSD from New York.....the movie was actually really damn good. Then Trevor came out of the bathroom, when that happened it turned into a slapstick parody of itself. Seriously, the suits just constantly fall apart, I mean really??? They can take a hit from Thor, hit with a tank shell, survive an explosion but suddenly now they fall apart from just a truck!! WTF? Did Tony just forget how to make a better
It wasn't only the twist. The film started out so strong, Mandarin was menacing, Tony had PTSD from New York.....the movie was actually really damn good. Then Trevor came out of the bathroom, when that happened it turned into a slapstick parody of itself. Seriously, the suits just constantly fall apart, I mean really??? They can take a hit from Thor, hit with a tank shell, survive an explosion but suddenly now they fall apart from just a truck!! WTF? Did Tony just forget how to make a better suit? Now they fall apart like they're made of aluminum cans?? He watches the women he loves....the one thing he can't live without...supposedly die in front of him....and he cracks a sarcastic joke???? Instead of getting a genius terrorist mastermind...like the trailers showed....we get fire breathing lava people??? This film sucked! This is the only Marvel film I will not own and never watch again.

I also think because of what they did with this film and how bad Agents of Shield is, that it affected the box office of Thor 2. It has only made $199,163,732 domestically. I was worried Thor would suck also and was happy as hell that it was good. Thor: TDW should have made as much as IM3 since the Avengers was so huge and how much everyone LOVES Loki.....but it didn't because Marvel's last 2 offerings have tarnished the brand.
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10:04AM on 12/20/2013
I agree with what your wrote. Thor 2 the Dark World was actually good. Iron Man 3 went so far off the rails it ruined what was a very promising film.
I agree with what your wrote. Thor 2 the Dark World was actually good. Iron Man 3 went so far off the rails it ruined what was a very promising film.
2:02PM on 12/20/2013
I really have to agree with you on this one. The film had a lot of plot holes in it and really the twist with the Mandarin I thought was the most creative part of the story, even though it wasn't executed well.

I haven't seen Thor yet, and you're right, it's mostly because of Iron Man 3 and SHIELD. It's just too much lazy writing and hack efforts to bring those stories to life that I'm just over the whole Marvel universe thing for the time being. They really need to knock it out of the
I really have to agree with you on this one. The film had a lot of plot holes in it and really the twist with the Mandarin I thought was the most creative part of the story, even though it wasn't executed well.

I haven't seen Thor yet, and you're right, it's mostly because of Iron Man 3 and SHIELD. It's just too much lazy writing and hack efforts to bring those stories to life that I'm just over the whole Marvel universe thing for the time being. They really need to knock it out of the park next year with CapAm 2 and GOTG to get their mojo back.
-1
8:37AM on 12/20/2013
Man of Steel (epic third trailer)...and Iron Man 3 (the trailer where Ben Kingsley goes on with his epic lesson number 1 speech) are two of the best trailers I've ever enjoyed for a movie - my initial response to both trailers...these movies are going to be f-ing awesome. In the end, neither lived up to that rating...though I still maintain I enjoyed Iron Man 3...whilst being left very disappointed with the Man of Steel. I so wanted to see the Mandarin that trailer portrayed. For me, Marvel
Man of Steel (epic third trailer)...and Iron Man 3 (the trailer where Ben Kingsley goes on with his epic lesson number 1 speech) are two of the best trailers I've ever enjoyed for a movie - my initial response to both trailers...these movies are going to be f-ing awesome. In the end, neither lived up to that rating...though I still maintain I enjoyed Iron Man 3...whilst being left very disappointed with the Man of Steel. I so wanted to see the Mandarin that trailer portrayed. For me, Marvel made a big mistake...but then...for those keeping score...they've not made many of those...and no one's perfect. The movie still did well...and the Marvel cinematic universe goes on and on :o)
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-7
4:06AM on 12/20/2013

So it's this guy's fault?

I mean, he's taking credit for the idea, right? Good to know, I'll be sure to avoid his work from here on in. Whether you liked it or not (and I believe those who claim to like it just don't want to dislike an Iron Man movie), it's a giant slap in the face to comic book fans around the world.
I mean, he's taking credit for the idea, right? Good to know, I'll be sure to avoid his work from here on in. Whether you liked it or not (and I believe those who claim to like it just don't want to dislike an Iron Man movie), it's a giant slap in the face to comic book fans around the world.
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8:29AM on 12/20/2013
"It's this guy's fault?" So you have no idea who Shane Black is? Get the eff out of here, and here you are commenting like you know anything about film.
"It's this guy's fault?" So you have no idea who Shane Black is? Get the eff out of here, and here you are commenting like you know anything about film.
2:28AM on 12/20/2013

Hold on Folks

All I can say is that something soon will make those that were disappointed much happier. Unfortunately can't say much more :-X
All I can say is that something soon will make those that were disappointed much happier. Unfortunately can't say much more :-X
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4:06AM on 12/20/2013
BS
BS
4:19AM on 12/20/2013
And I know exactly what you are talking about! Well, at least I think I do. If you know what I've been told then yes, those who were disappointed will be VERY happy.
And I know exactly what you are talking about! Well, at least I think I do. If you know what I've been told then yes, those who were disappointed will be VERY happy.
11:48PM on 12/20/2013
Wow people are so jaded on this site. I get thumbs down for speaking the truth? Do you people come to this site regularly? Did you see the interview with Kingsley where he said he filmed something for it? He wasn't lying...
Wow people are so jaded on this site. I get thumbs down for speaking the truth? Do you people come to this site regularly? Did you see the interview with Kingsley where he said he filmed something for it? He wasn't lying...
+8
12:23AM on 12/20/2013

TREVOR SLATTERY = SMEAGOL?

hear me out...

after the events of iron man 3, trevor slattery the british actor, is sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the terrorist activities of Aldrich Killian. being the spaced out junkie that he is, trevor is unable to handle his own in prison. he is subjected to abuse and becomes filled with angst. then he discovers the 10 rings (somehow) and gains immense magic power. possessed by the power, he starts to believe that he is the mandarin character he once portrayed.
hear me out...

after the events of iron man 3, trevor slattery the british actor, is sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the terrorist activities of Aldrich Killian. being the spaced out junkie that he is, trevor is unable to handle his own in prison. he is subjected to abuse and becomes filled with angst. then he discovers the 10 rings (somehow) and gains immense magic power. possessed by the power, he starts to believe that he is the mandarin character he once portrayed.

Iron Man 4.
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+13
12:00AM on 12/20/2013
Before this movie I bet 90 % of the people who saw this had no idea who The Mandarin was. Iron Man was a B grade character at best before RDJ made Iron Man as popular as he is now. That's why the twist was largely successful and only fanboys bitch about it. The reveal with him in the room with the hookers was hilarious.
Before this movie I bet 90 % of the people who saw this had no idea who The Mandarin was. Iron Man was a B grade character at best before RDJ made Iron Man as popular as he is now. That's why the twist was largely successful and only fanboys bitch about it. The reveal with him in the room with the hookers was hilarious.
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-10
11:34PM on 12/19/2013
When that scene came up, it was that moment when I realized that Marvel had sold out to the causal/ general movie audience and not to comic book fans. It was a sad day.
When that scene came up, it was that moment when I realized that Marvel had sold out to the causal/ general movie audience and not to comic book fans. It was a sad day.
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9:25PM on 12/19/2013
I'm still confused on why people keep saying The Manderine is a well established villian. He isn't, nobody knows who he is or cares.
I'm still confused on why people keep saying The Manderine is a well established villian. He isn't, nobody knows who he is or cares.
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8:50PM on 12/19/2013
I'm okay with the twist as it came out very surprising and just grabbed the audiences. What I don't like is that kid sidekick. Why put him there? It's like they try to appeal to Disney crowds too much.
I'm okay with the twist as it came out very surprising and just grabbed the audiences. What I don't like is that kid sidekick. Why put him there? It's like they try to appeal to Disney crowds too much.
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8:24PM on 12/19/2013
I wouldve thought it was stupid if a guy had magic rings from an alien spaceship. Iron Man 3 was great. Ben Kingsley was hilarious. Drops the microphone.
I wouldve thought it was stupid if a guy had magic rings from an alien spaceship. Iron Man 3 was great. Ben Kingsley was hilarious. Drops the microphone.
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8:06PM on 12/19/2013
I thought Killian was just a boring villain so when we found out Mandarin was just an actor, well I was disappointed, but got over it. Thing is, this leads to a lot of future potential. So the actor is out, people know his Mandarin persona is fake...or is it?! That would make for an even more interesting twist, making Killian think he's the brains while Mandarin plays the fool. Not saying that it would happen, but it certainly could be interesting if say he was really going after the rings but
I thought Killian was just a boring villain so when we found out Mandarin was just an actor, well I was disappointed, but got over it. Thing is, this leads to a lot of future potential. So the actor is out, people know his Mandarin persona is fake...or is it?! That would make for an even more interesting twist, making Killian think he's the brains while Mandarin plays the fool. Not saying that it would happen, but it certainly could be interesting if say he was really going after the rings but needed to buy time. I dunno. I'm no writer. The twist was just as lame as "My name is Kahn", so...yeah.
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7:45PM on 12/19/2013

No respect for fans of Marvel

Now I am no Marvel expert but if you are using well established characters with well established back stories, surely removing those elements negates the character actually being the character. This was a terrible idea. That said I do expect that the real Mandarin will surface again. I can't believe they would have someone like Kingsley giving such a good performance to then undermine it near the end of the movie by basically have him winking at the camera and more or less saying 'Just kidding
Now I am no Marvel expert but if you are using well established characters with well established back stories, surely removing those elements negates the character actually being the character. This was a terrible idea. That said I do expect that the real Mandarin will surface again. I can't believe they would have someone like Kingsley giving such a good performance to then undermine it near the end of the movie by basically have him winking at the camera and more or less saying 'Just kidding folks!'
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9:26PM on 12/19/2013
No respect for fans because... of this? Get out of here.
No respect for fans because... of this? Get out of here.
7:24PM on 12/19/2013
The twist was inventive and cool. IMO, it made the character of Killian more fleshed out, and really works. All the fanboys complaining are the same assholes that don't get why Johnny Storm can be black or they inexplicably enjoyed "Wrath Of Khan 2: Twist Full Of Holes And Dicks" and yet still liked it.
The twist was inventive and cool. IMO, it made the character of Killian more fleshed out, and really works. All the fanboys complaining are the same assholes that don't get why Johnny Storm can be black or they inexplicably enjoyed "Wrath Of Khan 2: Twist Full Of Holes And Dicks" and yet still liked it.
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+0
7:07PM on 12/19/2013
Personally, I thought the whole movie was a train wreck. The mandarin twist was just one thing on a long list that bothered me. It's the first marvel movie that I don't want to watch again. From stark only wearing broken and weak armor, to iron patriot being taken down by a handshake and not firing a single shot, to pepper pots besting Killian, ad finally all the cool suits I was waiting the whole movie to see being blown up just for the hell out it, I was so let down by this movie.
Personally, I thought the whole movie was a train wreck. The mandarin twist was just one thing on a long list that bothered me. It's the first marvel movie that I don't want to watch again. From stark only wearing broken and weak armor, to iron patriot being taken down by a handshake and not firing a single shot, to pepper pots besting Killian, ad finally all the cool suits I was waiting the whole movie to see being blown up just for the hell out it, I was so let down by this movie.
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4:08AM on 12/20/2013
AMEN!
AMEN!
-15
6:39PM on 12/19/2013

Quit flip flopping in the last couple of paragraphs Alex...

This was a shitty idea, and people are upset by it. Yes, it is the top grossing movie of the year, but that's only because Marvel built a lot of good will with the fans with the first wave of Marvel movies and thought they were in good hands going in to see Iron Man 3. If Marvel pulled this shit off in the first Iron Man with a shitty twist then the fans would have buried the movie.
This was a shitty idea, and people are upset by it. Yes, it is the top grossing movie of the year, but that's only because Marvel built a lot of good will with the fans with the first wave of Marvel movies and thought they were in good hands going in to see Iron Man 3. If Marvel pulled this shit off in the first Iron Man with a shitty twist then the fans would have buried the movie.
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11:49PM on 12/19/2013
A vocal minority were upset by it. If they thought that yet another generic terrorist character was a good idea, that's on them. And the fact that you think fans would have "buried" the movie is so inane, that I'm not sure if you're joking or not. The audience makeup of this movie is not what you think it is. And the "fans" weren't even enough to affect the Cinemascore, let alone "bury" the movie.
A vocal minority were upset by it. If they thought that yet another generic terrorist character was a good idea, that's on them. And the fact that you think fans would have "buried" the movie is so inane, that I'm not sure if you're joking or not. The audience makeup of this movie is not what you think it is. And the "fans" weren't even enough to affect the Cinemascore, let alone "bury" the movie.
6:34PM on 12/19/2013

Here's the problem I had

Throughout the entire marketing campaign, aside from building up Kingsley as the villain, we were sold a movie where Tony was going to have to confront his past - i.e. deal with the return of the "Ten Rings" terrorist organization that was established in the first movie. It was the perfect opportunity to bring the trilogy full circle in the same way that Nolan tried (and failed) in Dark Knight rises. Instead, the past he was confronting was some shoehorned in back story about some guy who was
Throughout the entire marketing campaign, aside from building up Kingsley as the villain, we were sold a movie where Tony was going to have to confront his past - i.e. deal with the return of the "Ten Rings" terrorist organization that was established in the first movie. It was the perfect opportunity to bring the trilogy full circle in the same way that Nolan tried (and failed) in Dark Knight rises. Instead, the past he was confronting was some shoehorned in back story about some guy who was bitter because Tony Stark stood him up for a meeting? And I still don't even get what Killian's plan/motivation was. Was it to make money from Extremis? Because he totally could have done that with being a megalomaniac. I'm sure the government would totally be interested in a formula that gives soldiers regenerative abilities and super strength and breathe fire. At least The Mandarin, for the first 2/3 of the movie before they ruined his character with that twist, had a proper and understandable motivation.

Ugh, the handling of that movie was just so absurd, I don't understand any of the choices they made. I think that quote up there about what Shane Black said in regards to how Marvel might take the idea is the perfect example of what was wrong with this movie. His mentality was "Fuck what the fans want, I'm gonna make the movie I feel like making".
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7:01PM on 12/19/2013
He wanted revenge from what I gather and I don't think he would be able to sell it to the government because his human testing was not ethical. He was still refining his technology and in an illegal manner. He tried to sell it to Pepper but she said no. I haven't watched it in a while though so forgive me if I'm wrong.
He wanted revenge from what I gather and I don't think he would be able to sell it to the government because his human testing was not ethical. He was still refining his technology and in an illegal manner. He tried to sell it to Pepper but she said no. I haven't watched it in a while though so forgive me if I'm wrong.
-13
6:29PM on 12/19/2013
I'm not sure the idea was awful, just the execution. Did we really need to show him coming out of the bathroom and cheering for a soccer game during the scene Tony finds out he's an actor? They tried too hard to make a joke out of it, and for me it didn't work. Same as some scenes with the kid.
I'm not sure the idea was awful, just the execution. Did we really need to show him coming out of the bathroom and cheering for a soccer game during the scene Tony finds out he's an actor? They tried too hard to make a joke out of it, and for me it didn't work. Same as some scenes with the kid.
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7:02PM on 12/19/2013
The movie was dark and gritty throughout. At first it was Mandarin, and then it was Stark's treatment of the child.
The movie was dark and gritty throughout. At first it was Mandarin, and then it was Stark's treatment of the child.
-6
6:14PM on 12/19/2013
I have never read any Iron Man comics, so had no prior knowledge of the mandarin. The problem is that the mandarin seemed like an epic villain and Guy Pearce's character was really really weak.
I have never read any Iron Man comics, so had no prior knowledge of the mandarin. The problem is that the mandarin seemed like an epic villain and Guy Pearce's character was really really weak.
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9:21PM on 12/19/2013
i can get behind this. the twist may have worked if there was a better puppetmaster
i can get behind this. the twist may have worked if there was a better puppetmaster
6:00PM on 12/19/2013
Of course it looks terrible in hindsight but Its not terrible on paper. At least they tried to do something different. They say big risks mean big rewards but there "risky" for a reason. People are entirely too hard on Marvel for this decision.
Of course it looks terrible in hindsight but Its not terrible on paper. At least they tried to do something different. They say big risks mean big rewards but there "risky" for a reason. People are entirely too hard on Marvel for this decision.
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-9
5:46PM on 12/19/2013

Yikes

Ya, it was a bad idea. I've never read any of the comics, but like lots of others here, it took me out of the film. I was just so choked and thought it was a joke at first, like he was playing dumb to escape. Not good. Really disappointed in that part of it. I liked the movie for the most part, but that was sooooo disappointing.
Ya, it was a bad idea. I've never read any of the comics, but like lots of others here, it took me out of the film. I was just so choked and thought it was a joke at first, like he was playing dumb to escape. Not good. Really disappointed in that part of it. I liked the movie for the most part, but that was sooooo disappointing.
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5:45PM on 12/19/2013
I still believe and i don't know why the real Mandarin is still Bill Kingsley and he just said that to throw him off the trail. And guy Pearce's character was the pawn.
I still believe and i don't know why the real Mandarin is still Bill Kingsley and he just said that to throw him off the trail. And guy Pearce's character was the pawn.
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5:35PM on 12/19/2013

hahahah

I wonder what is going through someone's head who hasn't seen the movie and saw that pic of kingsley.

as for the article...I thought Mandarin was the best Super Villain I had ever seen. He was up there with Ledger's Joker. The second the twist occurred it went from being an epic gritty movie to a summer action rom-com.

Beginning: WTF is Mandarin gonna do?
End:Paltro is not dead, she'll save the day.
I wonder what is going through someone's head who hasn't seen the movie and saw that pic of kingsley.

as for the article...I thought Mandarin was the best Super Villain I had ever seen. He was up there with Ledger's Joker. The second the twist occurred it went from being an epic gritty movie to a summer action rom-com.

Beginning: WTF is Mandarin gonna do?
End:Paltro is not dead, she'll save the day.
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5:22PM on 12/19/2013
I honestly think Iron Man's villains (on film) were extremely poor and forgettable.

Was it a bold move on their part to make The Mandarin some has-been British theater actor? Yes.

Was it a dumb idea? Definitely.
I honestly think Iron Man's villains (on film) were extremely poor and forgettable.

Was it a bold move on their part to make The Mandarin some has-been British theater actor? Yes.

Was it a dumb idea? Definitely.
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-11
5:13PM on 12/19/2013

Dumb

Terrible idea! Would THE DARK KNIGHT have been better if in the end Heath Ledger's Joker ended up being an Australian actor putting on a act...??? The Mandarin is Iron Man's Joker, his Lex Luthor. What a cop out.
Terrible idea! Would THE DARK KNIGHT have been better if in the end Heath Ledger's Joker ended up being an Australian actor putting on a act...??? The Mandarin is Iron Man's Joker, his Lex Luthor. What a cop out.
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6:00PM on 12/19/2013
Oh. My. Fucking. God. I'm so sick of this bullshit argument. You wanna know the difference? The Joker is the FUCKING Joker. He's an icon and has been portrayed relatively the same way for 70 years. He's been lighter, he's been dark and in between but his basic characteristics remain the same. Same Luthor has only had one shift in character from a mad scientist to a mad monomaniacal uber businessman.

The Mandarin has changed ideologies more than any other villain I've come across. He's been
Oh. My. Fucking. God. I'm so sick of this bullshit argument. You wanna know the difference? The Joker is the FUCKING Joker. He's an icon and has been portrayed relatively the same way for 70 years. He's been lighter, he's been dark and in between but his basic characteristics remain the same. Same Luthor has only had one shift in character from a mad scientist to a mad monomaniacal uber businessman.

The Mandarin has changed ideologies more than any other villain I've come across. He's been a commie, an anarchist, and straight up crazy. And though all of it, he's never been interesting. Just because he's Iron Man's main villain doesn't mean he's some Joker equivalent. Nobody gave a SHIT about the character before but because you didn't get what you expected you threw a tantrum. Make any 500 Marvel fans give a 10 top list of villains. I bet my fucking paycheck the Mandarin wouldn't show up all that much-if at all.

Take Black Manta for example-a c-list villain through and through. Not one comic book fan can say they give a flying fuck about the damn Black Manta. But he's Aqua-Man's main villain. Does that put him on par with the Joker or Luthor or Magneto or Green Goblin or Dr. Doom, or Doc Ock or Darkseid or Venom or Two-Face or Red Skull or Kingpin or Galactus (THAT is somethign to be pissed about), Thanos or Loki or....see what I'm getting at?

I hate the is fanboy entitlement that these films should cater to the exact specifications YOU want them to. These people don't own you a damn thing. Get used to it.
10:06PM on 12/19/2013
@moopoogaipan well, not many people knows Aquaman in the first place
@moopoogaipan well, not many people knows Aquaman in the first place
5:09PM on 12/19/2013
I was initially pissed but to be honest..but now I've dealt with it and dont mind

Still enjoyed thor 2 more though
I was initially pissed but to be honest..but now I've dealt with it and dont mind

Still enjoyed thor 2 more though
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+5
5:08PM on 12/19/2013
Overall I enjoyed "Iron Man 3", but I hated the twist and still do. Mainly because I loved Kingsley portrayal of The Mandarin so damn much. It was on the track to being one of my favorite comic villains on film, then...."that happened". I honestly did not believe what I was seeing for a moment, it had to sink in. And while Killian was a good side villain, he was not a main centric arch villain to me.
Overall I enjoyed "Iron Man 3", but I hated the twist and still do. Mainly because I loved Kingsley portrayal of The Mandarin so damn much. It was on the track to being one of my favorite comic villains on film, then...."that happened". I honestly did not believe what I was seeing for a moment, it had to sink in. And while Killian was a good side villain, he was not a main centric arch villain to me.
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5:40PM on 12/19/2013
He was an epic Villain wasn't he? I thought Marvel movies would become more like Nolan's trilogy but thennnnnnn Mandarin stinks up the bathroom.
He was an epic Villain wasn't he? I thought Marvel movies would become more like Nolan's trilogy but thennnnnnn Mandarin stinks up the bathroom.
4:59PM on 12/19/2013
I think the worst part about this twist is that Kingsley knocked it out of the park. I loved his Mandarin. He made the character his, and he owned the shit out of it. He was so good that no one else was acceptable for the role. Then to take it away and give it to Guy Pearce, who didn't bring anything interesting to the role, was hard to accept.

Still, I thought Iron Man 3 was very entertaining, and it was awesome to see Stark be a badass without his suit.
I think the worst part about this twist is that Kingsley knocked it out of the park. I loved his Mandarin. He made the character his, and he owned the shit out of it. He was so good that no one else was acceptable for the role. Then to take it away and give it to Guy Pearce, who didn't bring anything interesting to the role, was hard to accept.

Still, I thought Iron Man 3 was very entertaining, and it was awesome to see Stark be a badass without his suit.
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12:05PM on 12/20/2013
Yea, I could see why they thought the script was awesome but once they saw what Kingsley was doing on the day a quick rewrite should have been warranted
Yea, I could see why they thought the script was awesome but once they saw what Kingsley was doing on the day a quick rewrite should have been warranted
4:58PM on 12/19/2013
I didn't mind it at all in Iron Man III.
But I absolutely hated it when they pretty much did the same thing to Bane in TDKR.
Maybe it was because they really didn't show The Mandarin that much whereas Bane was the primary.
But that's just me...
I didn't mind it at all in Iron Man III.
But I absolutely hated it when they pretty much did the same thing to Bane in TDKR.
Maybe it was because they really didn't show The Mandarin that much whereas Bane was the primary.
But that's just me...
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5:45PM on 12/19/2013
How did they do it to Bane? I don't see it as similar at all. He wasn't a goofy fake.
How did they do it to Bane? I don't see it as similar at all. He wasn't a goofy fake.
+8
4:57PM on 12/19/2013

the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't ready for the REAL Mandarin yet.

"What makes for an interesting villain?" well, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) didn't show us anything interesting.

a good arch-nemesis is the complete antithesis of the hero. batman lives by a strict code, so the joker is all about chaos and anarchy. iron man is all about technology, so the mandarin NEEDS to be all about magic (the opposite of technology).

and Marvel ins't introducing the magic elements until Dr. Strange. right? so maybe then we'll be ready for the REAL Mandarin.
"What makes for an interesting villain?" well, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) didn't show us anything interesting.

a good arch-nemesis is the complete antithesis of the hero. batman lives by a strict code, so the joker is all about chaos and anarchy. iron man is all about technology, so the mandarin NEEDS to be all about magic (the opposite of technology).

and Marvel ins't introducing the magic elements until Dr. Strange. right? so maybe then we'll be ready for the REAL Mandarin.
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4:56PM on 12/19/2013
Here's the truth and its not based on the comics or anything but the third movie itself. The movie was building and it was building pretty well. It was full of tension and a ton of mystery surrounding the character. Then the twist KILLED all the momentum the movie had going for it and turned the film into what it became which was an undeveloped way to market a film that people really weren't ready to see and then rob comic fans of something they were promised. It was a huge hit in the stomach.
Here's the truth and its not based on the comics or anything but the third movie itself. The movie was building and it was building pretty well. It was full of tension and a ton of mystery surrounding the character. Then the twist KILLED all the momentum the movie had going for it and turned the film into what it became which was an undeveloped way to market a film that people really weren't ready to see and then rob comic fans of something they were promised. It was a huge hit in the stomach. Sure it was creative, but it also killed the film.
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4:52PM on 12/19/2013
Bitchy Fanboys everywhere: "WAAAAAH I NEVER GAVE A SHIT ABOUT THE MANDARIN BEFORE BUT BECAUSE THE MOVIE DIDN'T GIVE US WHAT WE WANTED IT SUCKSSSSSS!"
Bitchy Fanboys everywhere: "WAAAAAH I NEVER GAVE A SHIT ABOUT THE MANDARIN BEFORE BUT BECAUSE THE MOVIE DIDN'T GIVE US WHAT WE WANTED IT SUCKSSSSSS!"
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4:50PM on 12/19/2013
Took me out of the film completely and ultimately ruined my enjoyment of it.
Took me out of the film completely and ultimately ruined my enjoyment of it.
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4:43PM on 12/19/2013
"... but Shane said, "Fuck 'em, this idea is kind of indelible..."

An indelibly bad idea, Shane. But Fuck me, right?!
"... but Shane said, "Fuck 'em, this idea is kind of indelible..."

An indelibly bad idea, Shane. But Fuck me, right?!
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-9
4:42PM on 12/19/2013

Sooo...

I guess all three of them take the blame. I don't really get into comics, so I didn't care about the Mandarin character himself, but the whole "twist" just seems like a cheap, lazy, plot device. You would have thought they could have come up with something much better.
I guess all three of them take the blame. I don't really get into comics, so I didn't care about the Mandarin character himself, but the whole "twist" just seems like a cheap, lazy, plot device. You would have thought they could have come up with something much better.
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4:30PM on 12/19/2013
I had a blast with Iron Man 3 and even though I think the first Iron Man is still the best one, I personally enjoyed Iron Man 3 the most. I also didn't mind the twist at all and thought it was a gutsy, profound move by Marvel and was the perfect way to end the Tony Stark saga (at least in his own franchise).
I had a blast with Iron Man 3 and even though I think the first Iron Man is still the best one, I personally enjoyed Iron Man 3 the most. I also didn't mind the twist at all and thought it was a gutsy, profound move by Marvel and was the perfect way to end the Tony Stark saga (at least in his own franchise).
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