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Following Shang-Chi Return, Looks Like Ben Kingsley Will Be Popping Back Into The MCU For A Surprising Project

Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery in Shang-Chi
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

In the lead-up to Iron Man 3’s release in 2013, it was believed that Trevor Slattery was starring as The Mandarin, one of Tony Stark’s most dangerous enemies from the comics. However, it was revealed in the Marvel movie that Kingsley was actually playing Trevor Slattery, an actor who’d been hired by Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian to portray The Mandarin as a front for his terrorist activities. Nearly a decade later, Kingsley reprised Trevor in last year’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and now it’s been revealed that he’ll be popping back into the MCU for a surprising project.

Word has come in that Ben Kingsley will appear in the Disney+ series Wonder Man, which was revealed to be in the works back in June. This will mark Kingsley’s third MCU appearance, as along with the aforementioned movies, the actor also starred in the Marvel One-Shot short film All Hail the King, which provided details on Slattery’s background while he was in prison following the events of Iron Man 3. Kingsley is the first actor to be unveiled for Wonder Man, and according to Variety’s sources, he will “play a major role,” although it’s unclear how many episodes he’ll appear in.

On the one hand, Ben Kingsley’s involvement in Wonder Man makes sense given that Destin Daniel Cretton, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ director, is the series’ co-creator and executive producer. That being said, of all the places in the MCU for Trevor Slattery to appear next, Wonder Man is a curious pick. For those unfamiliar with the character, Wonder Man was originally Simon Williams, who gained control of Williams Innovations following his father’s death, but then weathered the company’s profits falling due to competition from Stark Industries. Simon subsequently tried to embezzle funds from his company, but was caught in the act and arrested. Blaming Tony Stark for his misfortune, Williams agreed to undergo experimentation at the hands of Baron Heinrich Zemo to gain superpowers, and as Wonder Man, he initially started out as an Avengers villain. Years later though, Simon changed his ways and became one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

The above details alone don’t provide any hints on how Trevor Slattery could fit into the Wonder Man series, but here’s another key piece of information: in addition to his superhero activities, Simon Williams is also a Hollywood actor. To that end, Variety’s report mentions that Wonder Man is “intended to be a Hollywood satire,” and since Trevor Slattery is a down-on-his-luck actor, that’s enough groundwork laid for him to be pulled into the Marvel TV show. When we left off with Trevor in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, he was still in Ta Lo with his hundun buddy Morris after having been imprisoned for years by Tony Leung’s Xu Wenwu, a.k.a. the real Mandarin.

Wonder Man is reportedly expected to begin filming in early 2023, so it’ll likely be a while until we learn any specific plot details, including specifically how Trevor Slattery fits into the picture. Until then, break out your Disney+ subscription to watch/re-watch all of Ben Kingsley’s past MCU appearances.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.