‘Iron Man 3’ Director Shane Black Doesn’t Regret Mandarin Twist

Iron Man 3 Mandarin banner

The infamous Mandarin twist in Iron Man 3 didn’t sit too well with many fans who were looking forward to seeing the supervillain going up against the titular character, but that didn’t stop the movie from becoming a box office smash. However, Marvel Studios later released a one-shot titled All Hail the King which revealed that there is indeed a real Mandarin somewhere in the cinematic universe, but we just haven’t met him yet.

In a recent interview with IGN, writer and director Shane Black explained why he made the decision to move forward with the divisive twist in the movie and what he thinks made it so disappointing for many fans of the character:

We may have done our job a bit too well in a way because we succeeded in actually having a surprise in the middle of a big summer movie where you normally know virtually everything about it before you go in. And when I say we did our job too well it meant some of the fans felt fooled. They felt I think that they’d been led down one path and then sold a bill of goods. It’s hard. Because I want to please the fans… But in this case I thought – and we all thought – that it was just a very interesting and very layered decision to take the Mandarin [in].

When asked whether or not he’d make the same decision again if he had another shot at making the movie the director had an interesting response:

Of course not. The minute you start to govern your creative impulses based on anticipation of someone else’s response or their expectations, then you’re going to fail. You’re going to fail them, too. Because you’re not going to surprise anybody – you’re going to be busy second-guessing what other people want and indulging that people-pleasing side of yourself.

I have to agree with Black here, but I also have to admit that I personally enjoyed the twist while watching the movie for the very first time. What about you guys? Were you disappointed when the Mandarin’s real identity was revealed or did you not even care that much about it? Let us know in the comment section below.

Source: IGN

Michael Bezanidis

Michael Bezanidis

Michael is the Managing Editor of Heroic Hollywood. When he's not playing video games, he's usually writing about film and television.

  • Carl

    Shane is right not to regret it. It worked in the movie. Fans were just upset about not getting the real Mandarin. That’s a small but vocal group on the internet. I’d say that Marvel Studios probably regrets it in some way. It doesn’t seem like the wrong call in the long run and they admitted that, in a way, with the One Shot. Didn’t hurt them much though considering the success of Iron Man 3 and the huge love for the character today.

    P.S. Go see The Nice Guys if you haven’t already. Great movie.

    • Steve Steve

      Goin’ to see Nice Guys this week!

    • Baby Face Nelson

      no f him and The Nice Guys

      • Carl

        What a foolish, childlike comment to make.

  • Dimitri

    It may not worked with the fans that knew the character, but it worked for me.

    • Ivan__Drago

      I agree. There are 6 loud Mandarin fans. No one else cared. Iron Man 3 had fun with the concept it was well executed.

  • Steve Steve

    The Mandarin was not the problem with his movie, imo. The silly vice-president scheme was my biggest problem. The inability to licence “Christmas in Hollis” for that dancing scene is also a major problem for me. If Perlmutter had loosened the purse strings a bit, he may still be in charge of the movies.

    I disliked the “I am the Mandarin” line in the climax. It seemed unnecessary, and required that Marvel ret-con the proper Mandarin back into the MCU with that one-shot.

    I watched the director commentary from Shane Black and Drew Pierce and I was not impressed by their attention to detail in the screenplay or their attitude towards the details in the commentary. It is a decent movie over-all, but it could have been an excellent film. I would not be surprised if the Marvel Creative Committee also contributed to the mediocrity of IM3…


    That was the biggest nonsense I’d ever seen. People complain about directors not sticking to the source material, yet they perform all sorts of mental acrobatics to justify this nonsense.

    Nobody thinks IM3 was a great film, despite it making over $1B. Just goes to show, the zombies will show up in force, at the slightest noise.

    • Fenix

      Then why did it make north of a billon? Lol you really need to come to grips with the idea that you just love to settle for inferior products. DC keeps blowing up the same turd mine thinking a diamond will fall out.