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Between a new Thor and new Captain America, Marvel's comics have been going through some big changes in their superhero lineup of late. But with Guardians of the Galaxy just around the corner, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is winning back our attention with some possible news about upcoming--or returning--movie villains.
Speaking with IGN, Feige teased the possibility that Iron Man might meet the real Mandarin, and that Captain America may not have seen the last of Red Skull.
Of course fans got a polarizing plot twist in Iron Man 3 when The Mandarin played by Ben Kinglsey was revealed to be a hoax, or more specifically an actor hired by the conniving Aldrich Killian to hide his explosive experiments gone wrong. Some fans of the comic were outraged that Iron Man's greatest villain didn't really get the big screen showdown they'd been promised. But Feige seems to say that such a face-off could still be coming:
"There have been [talks]. That's one of the reasons we wanted to do the fun short that Drew Pearce wrote and directed. That was to clarify, 'Hey, just because we did this thing doesn't mean this other thing doesn't exist.' And as we were making Iron Man 3 -- and I think Drew's spoken about this -- that was always our intention, was that Aldrich Killian was perverting the notion of these things he's heard."
The short Feige is referring to is "All Hail The King", which you can watch below:
Kevin Feige insists that even Iron Man 3 sets up for a potential rise of the real Mandarin, explaining, "There's a little bit of that when he's doing his detective work in his lab after Happy's been injured outside the Chinese Theater. He's talking about, 'Okay, the Mandarin is taken from various iconographies and mythologies from across the world.' The idea was always there was somebody like this. There had been rumors of somebody like this, and Aldrich Killian just built on that, to make his version."
So should Marvel throw enough money at Robert Downey Jr. for Iron Man 4, The Mandarin in all his glory could well be its central villain.
As to Red Skull, Feige suggests that his apparent death at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger is no reason to count the ultra-Nazi out of the franchise. After all, he wouldn't even be the first character in the Marvel Universe branch to be thought dead only to return as a menace. (Talking to you, Bucky.) Feige expands, "Well, the way we showed his 'demise' in The First Avenger was to showcase to people that he could perhaps pop up again sometime. I honestly don't know when or where that would be."