‘Iron Man 3′ Director Shane Black Downplays Mandarin Rumors

Tony Stark has slugged it out with Iron Monger, Whiplash and, in next summer’s “The Avengers,” the Asgardian mischief maker Loki. But fans of the “Iron Man” comic books have long been holding out hope for a big screen appearance of Shellhead’s number one nemesis, the Mandarin. With teases of “The Ten Rings” littered throughout the first two “Iron Man” movies, will we finally get to see Tony going head-to-head against the ring-clad bad guy?

The sad answer: probably not, if “Iron Man 3” director Shane Black’s latest remarks are any indication.

Appearing at a panel at this past weekend’s Long Beach Comic Con, Black was asked by fans if the Mandarin would be his villain of choice come “Iron Man 3.” He reportedly dismissed the character as “a racist caricature,” according to Comic Book Resources. Of course, that’s not an outright denial — if he can find a new, different way into Mandarin, perhaps there’s some hope — but it doesn’t sound good.

As for who the villain actually is, Black was tight-lipped, saying it’ll be more satisfying to see the movie without knowing everything beforehand. (Something tells me that a little old thing called the Internet is going to get in the way of Black’s plans eventually.)

“Do you want to know when you’re going to die? No! Just wait, you’ll die,” he joked, comparing death to movie spoilers.

At the panel, Black reportedly criticized “Iron Man 2″ for making a lot of “half choices” and not allowing Stark to be a “proactive” hero. “The middle of the movie is Tony Stark sitting around in his house,” he said. No arguments here.

Check out CBR News for the full report.

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