MCU phase 4 casts The Mandarin: Legendary actor stars in Shang-Chi!

Iron Man 3 dir. Shane Black 2013

MCU's phase 4 will see the real Mandarin drop in at long last.

Avengers: Infinity War may have confirmed Thanos as the greatest comic-book movie villain since The Dark Knight's Joker, so MCU phase 4 has a lot to live up to in the realm of villains. The mad titan wasn't exactly the focus of Avengers: Endgame, but nevertheless, Josh Brolin makes his presence felt whenever on screen.

He was teased throughout Marvel Studios' output for years, but once Infinity War reintroduced us to him in the first act, we knew why they'd let his grandeur build up. For years and years, we'll be talking about his impact on superhero cinema. 

Phase 4 speculation has been in full effect after Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. However, an exciting crop of MCU projects has finally been announced. Could we see a new favourite villain come with them?

Marvel Villains

The Mandarin is here!

When looking back over the MCU's villains, Thanos truly stands out. However, it's for all the right reasons, unlike another — the Mandarin. The Iron Man 3 marketing teased Stark's arch-nemesis as the most sincere and intimidating villain of the film series yet, and we couldn't wait to see the cocky hero finally feel the threat of someone so unique to the MCU. Most fans went in expecting to witness something they hadn't seen before and sadly they were right. 

The Mandarin is without a doubt the most divisive superhero movie villain we've seen yet; why? It wasn't even the real Mandarin. There was a great deal of build-up invested in their eventual encounter, but it's revealed that the character (played by Ben Kingsley) is merely an imposter named Trevor Slattery. Some found it to be a hilarious reveal, whereas the overwhelming majority felt it was an anticlimactic disappoint and a waste of potential. 

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Fortunately, we learnt soon after that the real Mandarin does exist within the MCU, but it's since been uncertain whether we'll ever see him reach screens. Although, as reported by Screenrant, Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige recently took to Reddit to answer a series of fan questions, one of which asked whether the real Mandarin would feature in future projects; he confirmed that he would. 

Well, he was right! One of the upcoming MCU phase 4 projects has been revealed as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which is expected to arrive in 2021. It's been met with great excitement, and a huge reason for that is the confirmed presence of The Mandarin; the real Mandarin. 

Tony Leung is The Mandarin

We've had Ben Kingsley as the fake Mandarin, but now we're ready for the MCU to deliver the real thing!

The character will be portrayed by the excellent Tony Chiu-Wai Leung. He's an incredible actor and is best known for his collaborations with acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai; In the Mood For Love, Chungking Express, 2046. He's also starred in the likes of Infernal Affairs and Hero

The Hong Kong performer has delivered some exceptional work across his career, and fans were incredibly surprised to see him hop aboard the MCU in this latest announcement. It may be surprising, but nevertheless, it's great news for fans of both parties. 

In other news, has Poldark been renewed?

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