Iron Man 3 has unveiled yet another character poster which may end up being its most revealing. This time, the film's maniacal mastermind, The Mandarin played by Ben Kingsley takes the spotlight.
While we've already seen bits of this sinister schemer in the various trailers for the film, including the already-famous manifesto monologue in which the villain decries the classification of him being "a terrorist," instead declaring himself "a teacher." Yet these new posters, exclusive to Empire, give us our first real glimpse of him in full-figure view amidst a background that's ripe with clues.
While The Mandarin is certainly Iron Man's main nemesis from the pages of Marvel Comics, this film has given his look and back-story a serious facelift. In the comic title, he was depicted as an exiled and disgraced Chinese aristocrat who encountered a crashed alien spaceship and finds a powerful set of artifacts in the form of 10 mysterious, power-infused rings. He would use their power to build an empire of crime; a situation that would regularly pit him against Iron Man. However, in Iron Man 3, he is an ethnically-ambiguous shadowy leader of a militant group called "The 10 Rings" (presumably named after his bling) who, as those who saw the first film recall, were responsible for the initial kidnapping of Tony Stark, leading to him creating his first Iron Man prototype armor to escape.
Indeed, these posters (which essentially show the same image) visually depicts Kinglsey's Mandarin as an amalgam of the comic Mandarin and Lieutenant Kilgore from Apocalypse Now. While we're not sure if he too enjoys the smell of napalm in the morning, he does seem to appreciate an Asian aesthetic and plotting malevolent machinations to make Tony Stark suffer in the most definitive way.
This "teacher" makes his debut when Iron Man 3 hits theaters on May 3. In the meantime, check out the full posters below and ponder about who does his decorating.
(*NOTE: This poster promotes the film's UK release date. It is set for release in the US on May 3.)