I’m finally just getting around to reading descriptions of the Iron Man 3 footage that was shown at SDCC. I probably shouldn’t have.
Look. I love Iron Man. I think RDJ is Tony Stark - or at least he thinks he actually is and that’s awesome. I love all the MCU movies so far. (Well.. Hulk…)
But the Mandarin, you guys. The Mandarin. I assumed he was going to be in this one - Ten Rings shenanigans that they set up in the first movie and all, which is fine. I had heard talks before Iron Man 2 about how Favreau didn’t want to make him that Yellow Peril stereotype that he was in the comics. Excellent and thank you. Maybe he’s a super-intelligent Asian business man competing with Stark. That would be awesome.
Because they did revamp Mandarin to make him, uh, you know, less racist. At least he’s not in his Scary Asian Overlord costume anymore.
I mean, Ben Kingsley is… you know… not Chinese Asian, but I guess if you’re a casting director from England, Indian counts as Asian so MAYBE?! Anyway that’s not what we are getting. These are the descriptions I’m reading:
Who is Ben Kingsley? He’s none other than notorious Marvel villain The Mandarin. The leader of the Ten Rings terrorist group. He’s got a crazy hairdo — shaved in the back with a single ponytail. He’s decked out in flowing robes and a ton of bling. Ten rings is right! Kingsley looks evil as hell, and he sits awaiting Stark’s next move in a throne fit for Iron Man’s ultimate villain. (x)
Rings, heavy cloak, stringy beard… The Mandarin looks impressive. (x)
I don’t even… ARGH. Obviously I haven’t seen the footage, but based on when I’m reading, this is what Mandarin is going to look like:
But, you know, with some kind of queue hairstyle:
Seriously, if that “stringy beard” is some kind of fu manchu nonsense, I’m going to punch someone.
PLEASE SOMEONE WHO SAW IT TELL ME I AM WRONG. PLEASE!
There is absolutely no reason that someone named the Mandarin needs to dress like he stepped out of an opera set during the Qing Dynasty when the movie takes place in 2012.
They’re already half done with the film, so obviously no amount of protesting will be able to change it and, honestly, I hope I am wrong. I hope that Ben Kingsley is awesome as Mandarin and it’s not a horrific mess full of Asian stereotypes.
So far, the Marvel movies have been doing well keeping the costumes from being too costume-like. Well, okay, except for the Asgard, but they’re aliens! All the humans are, superhero uniforms aside, wearing modern day clothes. If Tony goes to China and all the ladies he meets are wearing qipao, I might scream. You know what modern ladies of wealth wear in China? The latest fashions from Europe. They get them years before they hit America, you guys.Okay, sure, there are modern qipao designs that women wear - I own some tops, I admit - but you can't tell me that's what comes to mind. No, default Western costume designer trying to dress people for China thinks, ALL THE FANCY QIPAO and ALL THE MARTIAL ARTSY TANG ZHUANG!
I know, I know - Americans need cultural markers - how else will you know who’s Chinese or Japanese or French or German or whatever. I just… I mean, I’m expecting some of it of course (like the Kolkata scenes in Avengers) but I’m just hoping it isn’t to levels where I want to stab someone.
Basically, Shane Black, don’t ruin this for me.