Actor Guy Pearce Shares Thoughts on Iron Man 3's Mandarin Character

Actor Guy Pearce Shares Thoughts on Iron Man 3's Mandarin Character

Guy Pearce

Guy Pearce, who played Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3, speaks out on Shane Black's interpretation of the Mandarin.

By now, chances are that if you're a comic book fan, you've already seen Iron Man 3. If so, then there's also a very good chance that you might or might not have liked how the Mandarin villain was interpreted in the flick. Speaking to IGN, actor Guy Pearce who played Aldrich Killian in the movie speaks out on how he thinks the character was handled by director Shane Black.

Fair warning before you read on, there are spoilers contained within Pearce's comments. So if you haven't seen Iron Man 3, then best not to read on.

Personally, I loved it, and I was never a comic book fan growing up, so I have no attachment to the [Mandarin]. I mean, I get it. The loyalty to those characters, I totally get it, but based on the sort of single-entity movie -- and particularly based on Ben Kingsley's performance -- I just adored what that turned into. But I do certainly understand that some diehard fans kind of went, "Aww... Come on!"

For more Iron Man stuff, you can check out where Iron Man 3 stacks up against the other Marvel movies in this video, or read up on the US government's own real life Iron Man suit for the military.

How did you feel about the Mandarin in Iron Man 3? Did Black desecrate the villain's identity by turning him into a joke or would adapting the comic book version of the character turn some people off with its stereotyping?

Source: IGN

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Kingsly did a great job. Loved what they did.

Also, watch the One Shot from the Thor 2 DVD.

Makabriel:

Also, watch the One Shot from the Thor 2 DVD.

This. There's more to the Mandarin character than what was shown in the movie.

Bitter nerd has always been a really stupid trope with some squick implications. (Shun those who are less socially confident than you! Their freakish inability to feel comfortable in a social situation will own build into a creepy resentment. Shun!)

It was also really freaking obvious. I guessed it literally within the first few scenes of Pearce being on screen.

Silk_Sk:

Makabriel:

Also, watch the One Shot from the Thor 2 DVD.

This. There's more to the Mandarin character than what was shown in the movie.

The One Shot goes a long way to begin smoothing things over, but to me that's kind of like that "well if you watch the dvd commentary, you would know that Professor X transferred his consciousness into the body of his brain dead twin brother in X-Men The Last Stand" kind of justification for movie "shortcomings." I used quotations there because I don't feel the portrayal of The Mandarian in IM3 was bad. I understand why people are upset, but I think there's a line to be walked with the movies, and you can't please everyone.

"What! This isn't EXACTLY like it happened in the comics! WTF was the point of making the movie if you're gonna take liberties with the source material?"

Personally, I feel that if you want the story that you know and love, read the story that you know and love. I can understand why people got upset about this, but even before the One Shot, my thinking was "just because we saw THIS portrayal of the Mandarian, doesn't mean they can't introduce the "true" Mandarian character later." Still, the One Shot should have been an after credits scene in IM3, rather than him on the couch talking to Banner. I think that would have appeased fans in a big way.

The movie went about it the way that it did because the Mandarian was supposed to be a fake out. I personally liked Killian/Extremis as a villain in the movie, as well as the final battle scene at the docks. I liked it a lot more than Malekith and Thor's final battle with him in Dark World, for sure. I think Killian was a better developed, better developed villain than Malekith. I know Malekith wanted to unleash the aether and bring back darkness, but exactly what that meant, and would would happen as a result, I have no idea.

Now that I think about it, what was Killian's ultimate plan again? I know it was kill the president, and then put the other guy in power, but then what? Was it "become rich via the Extremis program?" Plus, it's freaking Guy Pierce!

Wasn't the Mandarin a wizard or sorcerer in the original? I love how Marvel's been handling its film universe, but thus far, "magic" hasn't really become an element yet. But with a Doctor Strange movie apparently in the works, that won't be the case for too much longer.

As far as how the movie handled the character - I thought it was an interesting twist. Thematically speaking, the Mandarin has always struck me as being an odd nemesis for Iron Man of all characters. Though I'm interested in whether that one shot will go anywhere.

I loved the swerve, just because I didn't want to see fucking Fin Fang Foom (which if you actually pull out the Mandarin you might as well go with the Godzilla ripoff he keeps trying to summon). Well also because once Idris Elba got the part of Heimdall, all bets were off on "canon".

tdylan:

Silk_Sk:

Makabriel:

Also, watch the One Shot from the Thor 2 DVD.

This. There's more to the Mandarin character than what was shown in the movie.

The One Shot goes a long way to begin smoothing things over, but to me that's kind of like that "well if you watch the dvd commentary, you would know that Professor X transferred his consciousness into the body of his brain dead twin brother in X-Men The Last Stand" kind of justification for movie "shortcomings." I used quotations there because I don't feel the portrayal of The Mandarian in IM3 was bad. I understand why people are upset, but I think there's a line to be walked with the movies, and you can't please everyone.

People may be upset but I'm not one of them. I loved this version of the Mandarin even before I saw the one-shot. I see your point, but I must disagree with the DVD commentary comparison. One-shots are canonical films unto themselves and should not be considered "inside knowledge." Does that mean everyone should watch them before complaining? Heck no. But this thread's OP is an article on the subject. I don't know whether the author was not aware of the one-shot or chose to ignore it. But, I believe people should at least know that there is more to the story than is presented here. Whether they care to check it out for themselves is up to them, just so long as they know it exists.

You see I liked the Mandarin before the twist, I thought he was an interesting villain and was played really well and while the twist was funny it unfortunately ruins the character in the process and I thought that it made the film worse for it. Iron Man 3 was the most plot holed movie though that I have ever seen. None of the motivations or the actions of any of the characters made any sense whatsoever. If someone can actually explain to me in a way that makes sense what the bad guys were trying to achieve and how they were planning to achieve it in a way that actually makes sense I would be grateful.

Also that last fight seen was an unwatchable mess. All I saw for about 10 minutes was excessive motion blur.

Mahorfeus:
Wasn't the Mandarin a wizard or sorcerer in the original? I love how Marvel's been handling its film universe, but thus far, "magic" hasn't really become an element yet. But with a Doctor Strange movie apparently in the works, that won't be the case for too much longer.

As far as how the movie handled the character - I thought it was an interesting twist. Thematically speaking, the Mandarin has always struck me as being an odd nemesis for Iron Man of all characters. Though I'm interested in whether that one shot will go anywhere.

In comic book continuity they eventually went with the Mandarin having powers by crafting 10 rings from alien spaceship engines or something. Each ring does something different like disintegration and other things, so Mandarin is more of a brilliant scientist who reverse engineered alien tech.

I thought that the Mandarin being a goofball actor doing a part was pretty funny, and with the one-shot still leaving room for a more serious role for the `true` Mandarin I am not really dissapointed.

I just thought Aldrich Killian was boring, to be perfectly honest.

I thought everything surrounding the Mandarin was very entertaining and far more interesting than the actual villain. It totally makes sense in the modern age and with the way the MCU is playing out.

I can understand disappointment from long term fans (the mandarin done somehow seriously would have been amazing if up to the standards of the rest of the MCU) but ultimately it's not a retelling, it's a different universe and a different medium.

As someone who knows jack about Iron Man this was a fairly interesting read. I assume Iron Man's mandarin character is 铁人, however I see very little room for misinterpretation here. That being the case I don't think Shane Black did anything wrong.

I don't mind a the interpretation, I just wish they'd replaced him with a better character then killian. (Actor was good, just boring design, couple with lava powers that had no effect on clothing but does on iron mans armor

Kaihlik:
You see I liked the Mandarin before the twist, I thought he was an interesting villain and was played really well and while the twist was funny it unfortunately ruins the character in the process and I thought that it made the film worse for it. Iron Man 3 was the most plot holed movie though that I have ever seen. None of the motivations or the actions of any of the characters made any sense whatsoever. If someone can actually explain to me in a way that makes sense what the bad guys were trying to achieve and how they were planning to achieve it in a way that actually makes sense I would be grateful.

Also that last fight seen was an unwatchable mess. All I saw for about 10 minutes was excessive motion blur.

Kill the President, putting the Vice-President (who he controls) in power. The Mandarin was a decoy to keep suspicion off him, and to explain away the extremis test subjects that kept blowing up.

I don't even understand why the backlash exists, it's not like the Mandarin was a big character before the movie, most people, even Iron Man fans, had probably only herd of him in name and not deed.

Hell, before 2008 Iron Man was at best a 2nd tier character, and not the biggest one either. I don't think a villain of his who hasn't been relevant in decades and whose own creator expresses regret for his creation is one we should have ever expected to see on the big screen, especially given how the MCU takes from the Ultimates universe more then 616 (where the Mandarin was not a person but a terrorist organization)

DaWaffledude:

Kaihlik:
You see I liked the Mandarin before the twist, I thought he was an interesting villain and was played really well and while the twist was funny it unfortunately ruins the character in the process and I thought that it made the film worse for it. Iron Man 3 was the most plot holed movie though that I have ever seen. None of the motivations or the actions of any of the characters made any sense whatsoever. If someone can actually explain to me in a way that makes sense what the bad guys were trying to achieve and how they were planning to achieve it in a way that actually makes sense I would be grateful.

Also that last fight seen was an unwatchable mess. All I saw for about 10 minutes was excessive motion blur.

Kill the President, putting the Vice-President (who he controls) in power. The Mandarin was a decoy to keep suspicion off him, and to explain away the extremis test subjects that kept blowing up.

How does that help him. Does the FDA suddenly approve Extremis somehow because the president has changed? The only hold that he seems to have over the VP was that he had a relative that was an amputee who he would want to give Extremis too. But they never solved Extremis blowing people up. If he wants to make money as well and they know Extremis can be fixed (Tony did it at the start of the film) why not come to him with this joint venture where the proposal is, "We can make this drug which regrows limbs but its unstable and you can fix it, lets work out a deal". They would make a fortune. Like they capture him and keep him alive for this very purpose so they know he can do it. But at no point do they just ask him, why not tell Pepper at the start when he has a meeting with her?

The whole film is because they refused to ask Tony Stark to help in the very noble goal of helping amputees regrow limbs. Hell when Stark was a weapons manufacturer what a massive thing to get into because you know what results in amputated limbs? War.

The villains actions only make real sense if there is an ideological goal but there isn't. The goal is to make money with a drug that would be a guarantee to make money and lots of it if they can get it to work.

Zontar:
I don't even understand why the backlash exists, it's not like the Mandarin was a big character before the movie, most people, even Iron Man fans, had probably only herd of him in name and not deed.

Hell, before 2008 Iron Man was at best a 2nd tier character, and not the biggest one either. I don't think a villain of his who hasn't been relevant in decades and whose own creator expresses regret for his creation is one we should have ever expected to see on the big screen, especially given how the MCU takes from the Ultimates universe more then 616 (where the Mandarin was not a person but a terrorist organization)

To the first paragraph I say... Because comics, I haven't seen someone going against the idea of a the Mandarin being a "fake" that hasn't been into comics before, the other part is those that don't care, but consider that Pierce's character was boring, which I understand a lot more.

On the second though, at least over here Iron Man is as known as Spider Man, even considering how infinitely more merchandise there is for the latter. I guess the lack of a comic-reading culture plays a big role there.

Yeah, I totally get the rage against the Mandarin-revision, but some of it was a little over the top. It was a revision that was done in a way that worked, it was entertaining, and while it was a bit of a let down that Guy Pierce was the main villain (I just didn't care for his character, nothing against him personally), there's one thing people always seem to forget... Iron Man films have never really been about the villains. They've always been focused more on the internal struggles that Iron Man/Tony Stark faces whether is accepting responsibility, getting control over addictions, or overcoming psychological fatigue of the events of Avengers. This does leave them lacking in a sense, but when you consider how well they have always played to their strengths, I'd say they still work just as well (if not better, on occasion) than the average film)... or at least average comic-book film.

No no, it wasn't a joke. Killian meant every word that his stand-in spoke in his place, committing wanton acts of destruction and more. That he fooled the world was actually a nice stroke, an unexpected twist.

Kaihlik:
How does that help him. Does the FDA suddenly approve Extremis somehow because the president has changed? The only hold that he seems to have over the VP was that he had a relative that was an amputee who he would want to give Extremis too. But they never solved Extremis blowing people up. If he wants to make money as well and they know Extremis can be fixed (Tony did it at the start of the film) why not come to him with this joint venture where the proposal is, "We can make this drug which regrows limbs but its unstable and you can fix it, lets work out a deal". They would make a fortune. Like they capture him and keep him alive for this very purpose so they know he can do it. But at no point do they just ask him, why not tell Pepper at the start when he has a meeting with her?

The whole film is because they refused to ask Tony Stark to help in the very noble goal of helping amputees regrow limbs. Hell when Stark was a weapons manufacturer what a massive thing to get into because you know what results in amputated limbs? War.

The villains actions only make real sense if there is an ideological goal but there isn't. The goal is to make money with a drug that would be a guarantee to make money and lots of it if they can get it to work.

They did go to Pepper (CEO or whatever of Stark Industries). She turned Killian down saying that there were too many possible military applications of Extremis, and Stark was no longer in that business.

I think the VP was assisting because Extremis would regrow his daughter's leg.

Tony didn't solve the blowing up issue in the beginning of the film. At the end when Pepper was afraid she would blow up, he said something to the effect of "don't worry! I almost figured this out one night 10 years ago. You'll be fine."

I agree though, I don't know what Killian's ultimate goal was. I THINK he was trying to get a government contract to introduce Extremis to the US military, but knew that he couldn't do so until it was stabilized. I understand why they put the Mandarin in the movie as an "appease the fans/pull the rug out" type move, but I would have preferred to see a movie focused on Killian as the villain. I know it has already been said that Killian vs Stark was like the relationship of Syndrome vs Mr Incredible, in that one idolized the other, was shunned, and then turned to evil as a result, so it's not something that we haven't seen before. But I would have like Killian's ultimate goals to have been ironed out, and him be the main villain from the second act.

As for Extremis being able to melt the armor, but not burn the clothing of the wearer, ask The Incredible Hulk about his pants, or Superman on the burning oil rig about is. Or Superman's suit and hairgel not being out of place while being tossed through buildings. Not even a bit of dust of debris sticks to em. Some mysterious are just that.

 

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