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“Iron Man 3” could feature the Mandarin as a crime group

Robert Downey Jr. in "Iron Man"

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Disney brought a whole heck of a lot of material to their panel at CinemaCon yesterday, but some of the most interesting information came out of their segment on “Iron Man 3.” The studio presented a sizzle reel (all old footage, unfortunately) for the upcoming flick that included a narration by director Shane Black. attended the panel, and reports that Black dubded the movie a “technological thriller” and “crisis movie” set in a world of “international war, arms and terror.” He added that Tony Stark will be put “through the wringer” as they explore the trials and tribulations of being Tony Stark. The villain for the flick hasn’t been confirmed, but Black said that it will “frighten in today’s world.”

That’s not much to go on, but yesterday’s report by NeonPunch should help elaborate some of the villain talk. We already know that Guy Pearce is up to play Aldrich Killian and Jessica Chastain is in talks to play Maya Hansen, but it could be that the Mandarin character is different from what we expected.

Apparently the Mandarin could actually be a crime group that would potentially be led by Ben Kingsley‘s character. As Andy Lau‘s Chinese character is on Tony Stark’s side, it is clear that the Mandarin is an enemy to both the US and China.

In the comics, the Mandarin derived his power from his 10 magic rings, but the “Iron Man” movies have always made a point to be based more in science than in fantasy. Granted, that could change once “The Avengers” comes out, but it seems like a big shift in tone to suddenly have Tony Stark battling magic forces in “Iron Man 3.”

It could be that we’ll see a realistic take on the magic rings in this upcoming flick. Since Black is touting this movie as involving an “international terror war,” maybe the “rings” will actually be 10 terrorist cells or linked crime empires that make up “the Mandarin.” That would also be a good way to tie into the terrorist storyline from Warren Ellis’s graphic novel “Extremis,” which “Iron Man 3” is going to be based on.

That’s all pure speculation, of course, but at least it seems to be confirmed that the Mandarin will be a part of the movie in one form or another. We’re still hoping Kingsley is involved as head honcho somehow, but we’re starting to feel like a broken record with that sentiment. Hopefully we’ll get confirmation on his role some day soon.

“Iron Man 3” is set to hit theaters on May 3, 2013. Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle are all going to be reprising their roles in the flick, but Scarlett Johansson just confirmed that she won’t be returning for the third “Iron Man” film.

Are you looking forward to this storyline in “Iron Man 3”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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