src="" width="228"
align="Right" border="0" height="350"/>In 2005 or 2006 I
sat down in a big empty room at Comic Con with Jon Favreau to talk
about Zathura
and his recently announced attachment to the style="font-style: italic;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Iron Man movie. At the time Favreau said
that the villain was going to be The Mandarin, one of Tony Stark’s few
signature enemies. And then it never came to be.

But Favreau has been building towards
including The Mandarin, a Chinese villain who, in the comics, wields
ten rings of alien power. In the first film he introduced The Ten Rings,
a terrorist organization that seems to work for The Mandarin (if the
name is any indication), and he revealed to me that Iron Man 2
a member of The Ten Rings helping Whiplash get to Monaco. Now, Favs
says, the wait is over. style="font-style: italic;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Iron Man 3 (and the overseas and opening
weekend returns indicate there will be an style="font-style: italic;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Iron Man 3) will have The Mandarin as the

to MTV
, Favreau says,
“You have to do The Mandarin… The problem with The Mandarin is, the
way it’s depicted in the comic books, you don’t want to see that. He
also has 10 magical rings, and it just doesn’t feel right for our thing,
so it’s either tech-based or the rings are not really rings.”

Which is what he’s been saying for
years, and I just don’t get it. Doesn’t having the rings be magical make
sense in Iron Man 3?
Isn’t pitting Tony Stark against a force he cannot understand that
undermines everything he knows and has built the epitome of great drama?
That’s what they should be going for – making Tony face something
totally beyond him. He had no challenges to overcome in Iron Man 2,
so let him overcome a complete shift in his understanding of the
universe in Iron Man 3.

But Favreau’s also hedging his bets.
When I spoke to him after the style="font-style: italic;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Iron Man 2 fan event at the Alamo Drafthouse,
he said he wanted to come back for the third but the nature of the
expanding Marvel Movie Universe leaves him unsure what his place will
be, and when he’ll have a chance to return. Ironically Favreau wanted
more time to make Iron Man 2, and it may turn out that there’s too much
time until Iron Man