WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Whatever your definition of success, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been extremely successful. But even a franchise as successful as the MCU will make some missteps along the way. For Marvel, none are as striking as Iron Man 3‘s Trevor Slattery.
When it was announced that Ben Kingsley was cast in the role of the Mandarin, people were very excited. After all, an actor of Ben KIngsley’s caliber should be able to impart a certain gravitas to the character that would anchor it in the larger universe. And then it came to swerve. As it turned out, Slattery wasn’t, in fact, the Mandarin at all, but an unfortunate actor who was forced to play the part. Fans were angry about the swerve, some even going so far as to disapprove of the actor, even though he was his usual excellent self.
The last time we saw Trevor Slattery in the Marvel One Shot All hail the kingHe was kidnapped by the Ten Rings. Now, more than eight years since he last appeared in the MCU, Slattery is popping up in Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. When he appears, we learn that Slattery has been a prisoner of the Ten Rings all along, after being turned into a jester for the organization by Wenwu (Tony Leung).
But shang chieserves as a sort of redemption movie for Slattery. The actor is in a position to assist the titular character (Simu Liu) in his quest for the mystical realm of Ta Lo. He’s even present during the final battle, though in true Slattery fashion he uses his acting skills to play dead so he doesn’t have to fight. Yet his actions during shang chieare likely to improve viewers’ perception of the character in general.
While shang chiedoesn’t specifically set future appearances for Trevor Slattery’s character, it does set the character up for the ability to appear. Freed of the Ten Rings, Slattery was last seen in Ta Lo with his mystical sidekick Morris. It’s a good bet he’ll stay there, at least for now. It’s worth remembering that, regardless of being kidnapped, Slattery is an escaped convict in the eyes of the United States government and would likely end up behind bars if he returned to the US.
So where could he reappear in the future? Well, the most obvious answer would of course be: Shang Chi 2if Shang Chi returned to Ta Lo to learn more about his abilities. Another option would be: Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Strange and Wong were able to end up in Ta Lo over the course of the film. However, there are few other options, given the difficulty of reaching Ta Lo.
However, the most likely answer is that this is the end of Slattery’s story. The Mandarin twist has been resolved with the introduction of Wenwu. The kidnapping of All hail the kingis solved. Slatter is safe. If this were the end of Slattery’s story, it would be a satisfying conclusion to what many consider to be an unsatisfactory beginning for a character. The writers have found a way to redeem a character that many thought could not be redeemed. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Ringsis now in cinemas.