Will two of the MCU's most memorable big bad villains -- namely the Madarin and the Red Skull -- ever be back on the big screen to face off against any, or better yet, all of Earth's Mightiest Heroes? Here's what Marvel's head honcho Kevin Feige had to say.
In an interview with IGN, Feige was asked about the return of both the Mandarin (who was actually revealed to be an English actor named Trevor in Iron Man 3, played to sheer perfection by Ben Kingsley) and Captain America: The First Avenger’s villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).
About the Mandarin, here’s what Feige said:
“There have been [talks]. That's one of the reasons we wanted to do the fun short that Drew Pearce wrote and directed. That was to clarify, 'Hey, just because we did this thing doesn't mean this other thing doesn't exist.' And as we were making Iron Man 3 -- and I think Drew's spoken about this -- that was always our intention, was that Aldrich Killian was perverting the notion of these things he's heard.”
But as to how the real Mandarin could work out after the events of Iron Man 3, Feige pointed to the fact that there were quite a few hints sprinkled all over the excellent Marvel One-Shot “All Hail the King,” as well as the main film itself:
“There's a little bit of that when he's doing his detective work in his lab after Happy's been injured outside the Chinese Theater. He's talking about, 'Okay, the Mandarin is taken from various iconographies and mythologies from across the world.' The idea was always there was somebody like this. There had been rumors of somebody like this, and Aldrich Killian just built on that, to make his version.”
As for that other Marvel Cinematic Universe villain that Cap (Chris Evans) came toe-to-toe and Supersoldier-sized blows with in First Avenger -- the Red Skull, a role Hugo Weaving has made clear he has no interest in returning to -- Feige had this to say:
“Well, the way we showed his 'demise' in The First Avenger was to showcase to people that he could perhaps pop up again sometime," he teased. "I honestly don't know when or where that would be.”
Since Hydra was revealed to be the Big Bad behind the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it seems pretty clear that the door may have been left wide open for the return of the Red Skull in some capacity down the line. Hail Hydra!