The Mandarin's backstory in ''Iron Man 3'' will differ from the comics

By Anthony Breznican
October 26, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

Samurai hair. A bin Laden beard. Robe by Ming the Merciless. And big, gaudy rings on each finger. If Ben Kingsley‘s new Iron Man 3 villain, the Mandarin, weren’t a terrorist mastermind, perhaps his greatest crimes would be against fashion. But this mishmash of styles is part of the mystique of Tony Stark’s most sinister nemesis. ”This is a man who uses symbolism and rhetoric to his advantage,” says Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. ”He wants to push those buttons in everyone…to his own ends.” The Mandarin’s backstory here will differ from the comics, where he is a Chinese exile who discovers 10 rings inside a crashed alien ship, each of which gives him a different power. The rings are still the source of his strength, but the alien subplot has been dropped. ”Tony is earthbound and facing earthbound villains,” Feige explains. ”You will not find magic power rings firing ice and flame beams,” Feige says. So they’re just bling? ”Not necessarily,” he replies coyly. Whatever power the rings do contain will be released with the movie on May 3.