The follow up to last year’s summer hit Iron Man has been filming for the past month and will include characters old and new. When the sequel was announced fans everywhere put in their two cents as to who they thought should appear as the next villain in the series. As we now know Justin Hammer and Whiplash will be featured in Iron Man 2, but if and when they decide to do a third film could Mandarin be the featured bad guy? And will he be portrayed by a familiar face?

Over at IESB they have a a few quotes from one of the original bad guys from the first film, Faran Tahir. He starred as Raza, the middle eastern war lord who held Tony Stark captive in a cave. Since it looks as if Raza wont be reappearing in the second film Tahir was asked if he would pop up in a third. According to the actor his character’s ending was purposely left “open”. 

I don’t know. My answer to that is that we created the character, not by accident, but by design, with a vague future. You can spin it many different ways and it should make sense, was the idea. One is this guy who has a connection to Mandarin at some point… or is this guy someone who might become Mandarin at some point? There’s a case to be made — and a pretty good one — that two guys, who in the belly of a cave, almost like a womb, emerge out of that womb and one becomes Iron Man and one becomes Mandarin. There’s a case to be made for that.

If you’re going to do a movie about Iron Man, you will have to, at some point, address Mandarin. We don’t know when or how. They had asked me to be available for later times, if need be. So, we will see.

Even though it seems like he’s stretching here, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did pull something like this. To my knowledge Mandarin is half Chinese and half White, but it wouldn’t be the first time they changed the race of a character for a comic book film. I’m still sketchy about this theory. If the film does spawn another sequel, which it probably will, Raza coming back for a third would be a great way to come full circle. I would prefer it if he returned as a front for Mandarin as opposed to playing the villain himself. 

What do you think of this possibility? Should Raza return as Mandarin or as his sidekick?