On the eve of the unveiling for the Iron Man 3 debut trailer, Entertainment Weekly has released a photo giving our first official look at Sir Ben Kingsley in his role as Iron Man's key signature villain, Mandarin.
While it is recognized that the solo sequel to Marvel's Armored Avenger will feature Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark forming a new bond with his armor by way of nano-technology, it will also delve into new pathological territory for the billionaire genius; that of darkness and doubt.
Now, the Marvel movieverse's Iron Man will contend with his greatest, most iconic comic book rival for the first time on the big screen.
Check below for the teaser footage released this past weekend which is designed to whet our appetites for tomorrow's trailer debut.
The comic book version of Mandarin depicted him as a sinister exiled Chinese aristocrat who gains power after finding a powerful set of ten rings in a crashed alien spaceship. This version, however, will be more of an ethnically ambiguous megalomaniac who seems to be using his resources, not to gain money or power, but to teach the world a lesson.
There will apparently be some shades of grey revealed about Mandarin's motives to cleanse the Earth of its wrongdoings in an almost Ra's al Ghul kind of way. We might see some parallels between him and Tony regarding how one uses his vast resources to properly do justice to the world.
The debut of Kingsley's Mandarin will serve to reveal the man who has been quietly pulling the strings in the key events of Stark's life, even going back to his initial kidnapping and mortal wounding which lead to him creating his first armor. (By a group calling themselves, appropriately enough, "The Ten Rings.")
Iron Man 3 flashes its alien bling (if that's even in the movie) at theaters on May 3, 2013.