Are you ready to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings? Are you sure? Obviously, everyone is excited to check out the next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And, for the most part, Shang-Chi tells its own standalone origin story. However, there are a few pieces of MCU history you could revisit beforehand that will absolutely make your viewing of the film that much better. Most of them revolve around the character of the Mandarin and the terrorist group called the Ten Rings. So, before you see Shang-Chi sometime after September 3, if you’re so inclined, you might want to watch (or re-watch) these other Marvel projects.
Fooled you! I bet you thought I was going to say Iron Man! Well, I am, but in a second. Ant-Man doesn’t really have a ton to do with the Ten Rings but a few of the bad guys hanging around Pym Technologies in the film have the Ten Rings tattoos. An early indication of the pervasiveness of this organization.
Iron Man 3
This is your main course in terms of Shang-Chi prep. There are some Ten Rings visuals in the original Iron Man film too (mainly when Tony gets captured at the beginning) , but here is where we meet the Mandarin, the group’s leader. Sort of. He’s played by Ben Kingsley but, later in the film, it’s revealed he’s just an actor. The Mandarin isn’t real and actually Guy Pierce’s character Aldrich Killian is the brains behind the fake Mandarin’s exploits. Some of this plays a part (albeit it a smaller one) in Shang-Chi.
All Hail the King
Newly available on Disney+ (hmm… how oddly convenient), this Marvel One Shot is a short film which was originally on the Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray. It follows a journalist who goes into prison to interview Trevor Slattery, the real name of Ben Kingsley’s character who was acting like the Mandarin. Turns out, the real Mandarin wants to meet him. And for seven years since its release fans have been like “Wait, there’s a real Mandarin?” Yes, there is, and you might get a chance to meet him in Shang-Chi.
Ant-Man, Iron Man 3 and All Hail the King are all on Disney+. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens only in theaters September 3.