Iron Man 3 writer explains those huge secrets in All Hail the King one-shot

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Feb 6, 2014, 9:50 AM EST

Marvel put together one of its most ambitious one-shot shorts to date with All Hail the King, and now the man who wrote and directed it is here to explain those shocking revelations.

Spoilers ahead for All Hail the King and Iron Man 3!

The short focuses on Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) and his time in Seagate Prison after the events of Iron Man 3, which found Slattery under arrest for his acting job as super-terrorist the Mandarin. But instead of just telling a fun side story or dropping a tidbit to set up a sequel, All Hail the King actually blows open a whole new corner of the Iron Man mythos.

In an interview with Voices From Krypton, writer Drew Pearce notes that the iconic Iron Man baddie group Ten Rings was part of the first Iron Man film, and was actually cut from the script of Iron Man 2, though it took this short film to finally give us our first inkling of the real Mandarin who is still out there — and none too happy about Slattery’s portrayal.

Pearce notes that the short film only expands on the existing ideas they had for Ten Rings, and teased “never say never” when asked if it could even lead to a future Iron Man film focused on the real Mandarin. Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s weird. The idea for the short was there before any of the kind of storm in a teacup following our Mandarin reveal. What’s actually interesting as well is that the evidence of the “real” Mandarin is laid out in all of the Iron Man movies, as well as all the stuff we said around the release of the movie. The Ten Rings are part of Iron Man 1, they make an appearance in deleted scenes in Iron Man 2, and we’re very specific about the fact that he’s a real guy that exists in the world.

In fact, we talked about it a lot when the movie came out. There was always the sense that this term had been co-opted by Killian’s think tank. Obviously the events in the short made that even more explicit. The weird thing is I don’t have any regrets with what we did with Iron Man and I feel no reason to apologize for it. The short kind of let me join some dots that were already there. But it wasn’t the reason we did it. The reason we did it is that we wanted to play with Trevor Slattery some more…

Oh, yes, totally, but I would hate for anyone to think I was apologizing for a twist that I’m deeply proud of. I feel like it would have been dishonest to Iron man 3  if we’d made Trevor the real Mandarin after all and it was a double bluff. I think where the short leads to is a more exciting place and hopefully not one that betrays the intention of Iron Man 3.”

In case you didn’t snag a copy of Thor: The Dark World, you can check out a leaked copy of All Hail the King right here (until it gets yanked).

What do you think? Did you enjoy the short?

(Via Voices From Krypton)