During a Reddit AMA session, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige took time out of his busy schedule to answer some fan questions which he did mostly in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
However, he did answer one question a little more directly. That answer concerned if Marvel plans to bring back the terrorist group The Ten Rings and the real version of the Marvel Comics villain The Mandarin (revealed in All Hail The King), which Feige replied simply with “yes”.
Hey Kevin! Thanks for speaking with us today!
Without going into to details about developing projects, are there any plans to incorporate the Ten Rings from the first Iron Man, or the “real” Mandarin teased in “All Hail the King” in the future?
Not a huge reveal but certainly has us thinking there are plenty of places they could use them in future films and Disney+ series if need be we have plenty of speculation of where they could show up.
Technically, The Ten Rings never really left. They actually had a tiny cameo in Ant-Man as one of the goons looking to buy the bootleg Pym Particles formula had a massive Ten Rings neck tattoo. You can see that Ten Rings tattoo poking out the dude’s collar in the image below.
So these people certainly are still floating around the Marvel Cinematic Universe and we never did learn who Walton Goggins’ Sonny Burch was working for as their “aim” seemingly was getting their hands on experimental technology by any means.
A.I.M. was featured in some unused concept art for Ant-Man and The Wasp featuring their iconic yellow outfits, so at one time there had been plans to feature them in the movies again.
There is a possibility that Ten Rings/Mandarin eventually took over A.I.M. from Aldrich Killian after the events of Iron Man 3 given their interest in tracking down Trevor. This wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities since in the Iron Man cartoon The Mandarin and M.O.D.O.K. (leader of A.I.M.) were allies. I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if they did end up appearing in Ant-Man 3 in some form.
Another film option could be Shang-Chi, seeing The Mandarin becoming the surrogate replacement for Shang-Chi’s villainous father Dr. Fu Manchu (something I mentioned last month in a Shang-Chi movie wishlist), as running a terrorist organization would likely see the Asian superhero with ties to MI6 come into direct conflict with them. I also mentioned in another editorial that both Manchu and the Mandarin claim Ghengis Khan as an ancestor (Shang-Chi and Agent Jimmy Woo have a similar lineage as well), Khan would also be mentioned by Ten Rings leader Raza during a speech about getting his hands on the most advanced weapons as a means of power. The Khan lineage becomes a factor in the comics as the leadership of the Atlas Foundation is based on it.
“The bow and arrow once was the pinnacle of weapons technology. It was used by Genghis Khan to forge an empire that stretched across Asia, from the wintry woods of Ukraine to the Eastern shores of Korea. Now, whoever holds the weapons manufactured by Stark Industries rules the world… and soon, it will be MY turn.”
I’d personally love to see The Mandarin become the big bad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Phase 4 with him taking the reigns from HYDRA and becoming what Baron Strucker should have. Considering they really didn’t do HYDRA justice outside of the reveal in The Winter Soldier they never really had a huge presence in the movies you’d expect them to have.
You could certainly take characters like Ophelia Sarkissian aka Viper or Sheoke Sanada aka Snapdragon making them The Mandarin’s second in command along with combining The Ten Rings, A.I.M., The Atlas Foundation, and The Serpent Society into one cohesive villainous enterprise.
There are also rumblings of Dark Avengers and Thunderbolts getting their own movies, but I figured I’d stick with stuff that would make the most sense where The Mandarin could show up first.
It’ll be interesting to see how Marvel actually plans to bring them back.