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The world premiere of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in Los Angeles last night not only resulted in some glowing first reactions, but also a last-minute bit of casting news that will pique the interest of keen-eyed MCU fans.
**SPOILER WARNING: Potential spoilers ahead for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings**
As some fans noticed in the wider cast shots, yes, that would be Sir Ben Kingsley among the acting talent strolling the red carpet ahead of the screening.
It's been speculated that he'll be reprising the role of Trevor Slattery, the sleazy British actor and faux Mandarin from Iron Man 3. The character returned in the Marvel One-Shot, "All Hail The King," in which fans learned that Slattery's brazen identity theft really pissed off the actual Mandarin, aka Wenwu (played in Shang-Chi by Tony Leung).
Funnily enough, Reddit user u/nobodyzfirehose predicted a Kingsley cameo seven months ago.
The Ten Rings have seemingly busted the felonious performer out of prison, but it seems as though they didn't kill him, so what's the deal? What part does Trevor have to play in this new story? The theories are flying among fans.
"I think we're gonna get a flashback of The Mandarin killing Ben Kingsley for stealing his name," postulated one Twitter user.
"I'm thinking the real Mandarin might kill him off and we will lose our beloved Trevor Slattery," echoed another.
Fellow fan @Jazzyruf proposed an alternate scenario that could offer up a great bit of comedic relief in the movie: "What if Trevor the actor is in a dungeon that Wenwu has as punishment for besmirching his name?"
Just imagine it: Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) and Katy (Awkwafina) are captured by the former's dad and thrown into a dark and dingy cell. Something stirs in the darkness and the two heroes prepare for a fight to the death, only for Trevor to walk out of the shadows with a big grin on his face. It's been forever since he's had company and just wants to chat with another human being.
Now doesn't that sound fun? Of course, there is a good chance that the film opens with Trevor's brutal execution at the hands of the real Mandarin to drive home just how dangerous the villain can be when someone crosses him.
"What a lovely man," Kingsley said of Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige while walking the red carpet at the premiere. "Big heart, generous, kind, and for the people and to make people happy. Simple and lovely and essential."
We'll get an answer about Slattery's fate one way or the other when Shang-Chi hits theaters everywhere Friday, Sep. 3.