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“Iron Man 2” director ponders The Mandarin for potential third villain

By Sean O’Connell

HollywoodNews.com: Three has been an unlucky number for superhero franchises. The original “Superman” series drifted off the rails by the third film. Joel Schumacher took the “Batman” films in flashier, gaudier directions when he assumed control from Tim Burton. The less we say about the third “Spider-Man,” which was a bloated and unfocused mess of a film, the better.

So as “Iron Man 2” prepares to launch the 2010 summer blockbuster season (full reviews are coming, but in short, it’s fantastic), director Jon Favreau waxes poetic on the places a third film in his high-tech franchise could go.

“You’ve got to do the Mandarin,” Favreau told MTV. For those unfamiliar with the comics, Mandarin is a martial arts expert characterized by his 10 rings. He’s hinted at in the first film, as the terrorists who kidnap Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in Afghanistan are members of The Ten Rings. Mandarin is probably Iron Man’s most recognizable foe, the equivalent of the Joker to Batman or Lex Luthor to Superman.

But Favreau was quick to point out that a third “Iron Man” would be heavily influenced by the other films from the Marvel universe that would come out before it, from Kenneth Branagh’s “Thor” and Joe Johnston’s “Captain America” to the announced “Avengers” film, directed by Joss Whedon, that will hit theaters in 2012.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves. “Iron Man 2” plants plenty of seeds for more Marvel action. It’s in theaters this Friday, and is well worth your time. And let’s hope the visions of the other filmmakers don’t alienate Favreau too far from his “Iron Man” playground, because I’d love to see him tackle Mandarin in a third “Iron Man” somewhere down the pipeline.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • July 8, 2010 | Permalink |

    This comment is about a video I seen on you tube call iron man..
    The fast one, and the instrumental version, is one bad video.
    These two video wil go well with your movie iron man if you
    ever do another one. Check them out on you tube.

    The person name is spoony wallace. The name of the song is call iron man.
    It’s three of them . Check them all out.. especially the one when he sing the lyric
    first then put everything together. It’s off the scale. Thank you have a nice day
    keep smiling it keep you looking pretty. Chicago very own.

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