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Can we talk openly about Ben Kingsley's actual role in Iron Man 3 yet? When the giant summer blockbuster first opened Kingsley's performance was one of the biggest surprises, especially for a film that felt like it had been marketed so heavily that there were no surprises left. Kingsley's Mandarin is revealed in the middle of the film to be a drunk actor named Trevor Slattery, a front put on television by Guy Pearce's true villain, Aldrich Killian. And as you can see in this deleted scene from the film, revealed today by USA Today, he was originally supposed to be lending his menace to the screen for even longer.
This brief scene, immediately after Happy Hogan is injured in the explosion outside Grauman's Chinese Theater, would have made the link between The Mandarin and the attack all the more clear-- though it's hard to argue that director Shane Black really needed this scene to keep the plot moving. The best thing this clip does is give us another look at Kingsley's deeply weird performance, with that unplaceable accent and growl that makes him inscrutable, and only a little more coherent than good old muffled Bane. Of course, in Iron Man 3, the actual content of Mandarin's threats turned out not to matter, so he could sound as muffled as he wanted without confusing the audience.
Back when Iron Man 3 we spent a ton of time talking about Kingsley, going over how "the Mandarin" punked the Internet, how it either brilliantly adapted the Mandarin character from the comics or totally ruined it, depending on who you ask. But we couldn't stop talking about it, which of course, was part of the point. Iron Man 3 pulled off a rare thing in modern superhero movies: a total, game-changing surprise. Future Marvel movies will be hard-pressed to match that kind of expert reversal-- but you'd better believe they're working on it as we speak.
For more deleted scenes like this and plenty of other extras, you can pick up Iron Man 3 on Blu-ray starting September 24. As we learned just before Comic-Con it will be jammed with features, from an audio commentary with writer Drew Pearce and writer/director Shane Black to the new Marvel One Shot Agent Carter, which has Hayley Atwell reprising her role from Captain America. Check out the full specs for the Blu-ray set below.
PACKAGING & BONUS FEATURES: