will mandarin be iron man's next villain?

With Iron Man 2 destroying at the box office this weekend, there's absolutely no doubt that a third movie for the Marvel Comics superhero is already in the works. This probably means we'll finally see the supervillain we been dreading -- Iron Man's Fu Manchu-like archnemesis Mandarin.

For those unfamiliar with Mandarin, whose first appearance dates back to 1964 (Tales of Suspense #50), he's pretty much the comic book villain version of the evil, nefarious yellow peril stereotype. And he has plans to rule the world! (If Iron Man doesn't stop him.)

Over the years, Mandarin has been described as a descendant of Genghis Khan, a scientific genius, and a superhumanly skilled martial artist, wielding ten alien rings that grant him various powers. And according to director Jon Favreau, it looks likely we'll see him in the next movie: 'You Have To Do The Mandarin'.
Jon Favreau says a familiar villain may finally arrive in the third installment of "Iron Man."

"You have to do The Mandarin," the "Iron Man" series director told MTV News of the comic book nemesis. "The problem with The Mandarin is, the way it's depicted in the comic books, you don't want to see that. He also has 10 magical rings, and it just doesn't feel right for our thing, so it's either tech-based or the rings are not really rings."
You have to wonder how they'll make Mandarin the villain without it being completely racist. The Mandarin of 1964 was very much a reflection of the era. Judging from Favreau's comments, he seems to indicate that the traditional take isn't really going to work for the direction they've been taking with the movies.

My guess is, they'll create a "Mandarin" that isn't necessarily a person with powerful mystical rings, but an evil organization or corporation. Even better, make that villainous entity Chinese, ruthlessly preying on global interests, and you've got an updated Mandarin that appropriately reflects modern western anxieties. Not looking forward to seeing it -- but it would makes sense.

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