One of the more enjoyable (and most often overlooked) corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are the "One Shot" short films that accompany the home video releases of the movies. These shorts play in the marginalia of the larger films -- "Item 47" featured a pair of criminals who use alien tech stolen from the Battle for New York from "The Avengers" to go on a rampage, while this year's "Agent Carter" featured Captain America's long lost love in a tale of espionage all her own. And now, with word that a new One-Shot, "All Hail the King," will be included with the forthcoming Blu-ray and DVD release of "Thor: The Dark World," Marvel has confirmed that it will star The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) from "Iron Man 3," and was written and directed by Drew Pearce, co-writer of "Iron Man 3" (and Marvel's failed adaptation of Brian K Vaughan's "Runaways").
According to the report on Entertainment Weekly, the 14-minute short concerns Trevor Slattery, the British drug addict and actor who impersonated The Mandarin in "Iron Man 3." Slattery is once again played by Sir Ben Kingsley, whose outtakes and ad libs make the "Iron Man 3" Blu-ray an essential purchase. While in Seagate Prison (a bit of Marvel mythology any true geek will appreciate), Slattery is interviewed by a documentary filmmaker (played by "Argo"'s Scoot McNairy), who is trying to make sense of the events of "Iron Man 3."
The short film seems to establish some pieces of the Marvel universe and easily sets up what could be "Iron Man 4" (or beyond). Supposedly, the Ten Rings, a terrorist organization alluded to in the first "Iron Man" and connected to the Mandarin in the comic books, is indeed very real and very mad about the washed-up British thespian impersonating their glorious leader. (You can read more at EW but we advise you to tread lightly -- spoilers abound.) We cannot wait.
The "Thor: The Dark World" Blu-ray beams down to Earth on February 25.