All Hail the King: Watch This Short Before You See Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opens in cinemas this week, but before you trot off to see it, you might want to watch the 2014 short MCU film All Hail the King, now streaming on Disney+.

All Hail the King: Watch This Short Before You See Shang-Chi
Still from "All Hail the King" Marvel Studios, Disney+

All Hail The King takes place after Iron Man 3 to catch up with hapless Trevor Slattery, played with insider relish by Ben Kingsley. The "Mandarin," the most wanted and feared terrorist in the world (well, the MCU anyway), turned out to be a fake, a patsy, a front played by down-on-his-luck actor Trevor. He was subsequently arrested and sent to prison, probably for life. Blockbuster movies in 2013 were the Summer of 9/11 Truthing. Both Iron Man 3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness featured plots where the dangerous foreign terrorist villain who was sowing fear and division was actually created by someone on the good guys' side to further their own agenda.

All Hail the King: Watch This Short Before You See Shang-Chi
Still from "All Hail the King" Marvel Studios, Disney+

In All Hail the King, a documentary filmmaker played by Scoot McNairy interviews Trevor at his maximum-security prison to get some insight into what made him tick. The 14-minute short is a hilarious character study of the mind of a desperate unemployed actor who still has dreams of stardom and clings onto his dignity with all the pomposity of an Actor who went to drama school in England. It's written and directed by Drew Pearce, a Scottish filmmaker who created and wrote the 2008 British superhero sitcom No Heroics for Channel 4. That series was a precursor to the TV version of The Boys with its premise, "What if superheroes were as crap and petty as the rest of us?" The script is filled with British actor in-jokes, and Trevor was actually the first MCU character to come out as bisexual (7 years ahead of Loki) in a hilarious throwaway line. Trevor discovers that there's a real Mandarin out there, and that guy is not well pleased that he has been impersonating him. It's interesting to watch this short now, knowing Xu Wenwu, the Mandarin, is played by Hong Kong superstar Tony Leung Chiu-Wai in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This short might provide some extra background and context for the new movie.

All Hail the King is now streaming on Disney+.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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