Sir Ben Kingsley joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Iron Man 3, playing the armored Avenger’s arch-foe The Mandarin. Kingsley’s interpretation of this iconic comic-book villain, as conceived by writer-director Shane Black, was controversial, to say the least. Without spoiling his character’s arc or conclusion, the film didn’t seem to leave much room for The Mandarin to recur in future sequels and spinoffs the way, say, Thor’s Loki hopped from his film to The Avengers and back.
So Kinglsey’s admission to The Belfast Telegraph that he’s already shot some kind of “secret Marvel project,” is certainly a surprise. Kingsley wouldn’t say what the project was, or whether he was reprising his role as The Mandarin or playing someone else, or even whether the part was bigger than a breadbox. Here’s what he did say:
“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… I think they have enormous taste as creative artists. There’s nothing lazy or gratuitous about their work. They are at the top of their game, and they’re great company to keep.”
The Telegraph says Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige wouldn’t comment about Kingsley’s new gig, “joking he would feel the repercussions from the studio’s bosses” if he did, a classic non-denial denial if there’s ever been one. So let the Kinglsey speculation begin! Maybe there’s still more to reveal about that divisive Mandarin character. If so, that would be one hell of a long con to play on audiences.