Looks like Iron Man 3 wasn't the last we'll see of Sir Ben Kingsley in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Though the latest Tony Stark adventure pulled in more than $1 billion worldwide this year, making it the highest-grossing film of 2013 (so far) by quite a margin, fans were divided over Kingsley's portrayal of classic Iron Man villain the Mandarin, largely because the character wound up not being the Mandarin fans were expecting, in that he wasn't really the Mandarin at all. Still, there was a certain charm to the comedic turn Kingsley's character ultimately took, and it seems Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige thought enough of the legendary actor's work to bring him back for at least one more project at Marvel.
While out promoting Ender's Game, Kingsley confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that he is indeed back at work for Marvel, though he wouldn't say much more than that.
"It's a secret Marvel project. I'm not allowed to say any more, you're going to have to wait and see," Kingsley said.
Kingsley did go on to say at least a little more, though, when talking about his Marvel collaborators.
"I was with many members of the crew that were involved in Iron Man 3. It was lovely to see them again. It was great to be with this wonderful family," he continued.
So, Kingsley's back at Marvel, and he got to work with some of his Iron Man 3 compatriots. Since that's the only information we really have, we're left with several possibilities.
Since the villainous aspect of his character was basically removed by the end of Iron Man 3, we can probably only expect more Mandarin if it's a prequel, but a prequel also opens up a chance for Marvel to revisit just how the actor Trevor Slattery was talked into being the Mandarin. Either way, it could make for an interesting Marvel "One-Shot" short film. But hey, since we don't know anything else, let's consider a more outlandish theory: What if Trevor wasn't just a patsy? What if the turn from supervillain to actor were to suddenly turn back? What if Mandarin were pretending to be a clueless druggie all along? And what if Mandarin/Trevor got his hands on a little bit of Extremis?
Yeah, we know, given what transpired in Iron Man 3, the simplest, One-Shot explanation seems most likely, but it's still fun to think of the possibilities. What do you think? Where will Marvel use Kingsley for this "secret" project?