First Look: Here’s Ben Kingsley As The Mandarin!

It’s a bit of an “Iron Man 3” overload today, but we’re not complaining, certainly not when we’re receiving our first official look at Ben Kingsley as the big bad Mandarin.

Ahead of the upcoming “Iron Man 3″ trailer, Entertainment Weekly debuted the first photo of Kingsley’s evil mastermind, and as you can see, the big-screen take on the character is a bit of a departure from the villain we know from the comic books. It’s not just a series of visual changes, either, as Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige promises a few additional modifications to Mandarin’s background.

“It’s less about his specific ethnicity than the symbolism of various cultures and iconography that he perverts for his own end,” Feige said, explaining the changes to Mandarin’s ethnic background for the movie. Those changes are reflected in other aspects of the character not seen in the photo; EW describes Mandarin as having “a hodgepodge of various warrior motifs” from “samurai hair, to his royal robe, to his bin Laden-esque beard, and the AK-47 he keeps at his side.”

As for the rest of what to expect from “Iron Man 3,” in theaters next May, Feige offered this tidbit: “A lot of this movie is about characters going back into the shadows for various reasons and characters who have been in the shadows coming out and into the light for the first time. … It is Tony who, for various reasons, finds himself receding into the darkness. I don’t mean emotional darkness, I mean literally ducking out of the spotlight. And we’ll see other characters stepping up who have pulled strings from the background, starting to show their hand.”

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