The Funny Story of How ‘Shang-Chi’ Landed That Big Cameo

Spoiler Warning: Do not read this story if you haven’t seen “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” currently playing in theaters.While “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is one of the most stand-alone movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in years, the movie does contain one memorable callback to a previous MCU character with a direct connection to both the hero and the rings of the film’s title: Sir Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery.For anyone who hasn’t seen 2013’s “Iron Man 3” — although, given its $1.2 billion global gross, that list isn’t huge — Slattery’s appearance in “Shang-Chi” could feel rather random.

In “Iron Man 3,” Slattery is a hedonistic out-of-work actor hired to play “the Mandarin,” i.e.

the head of the Ten Rings terrorist organization, as a deliberately provocative amalgamation of various American evil-doer stereotypes meant to distract from

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