Before Marvel expanded into the world of TV to fill the gaps between movies (and create some great entertainment in its own right), it experimented with one-shots. These short films were designed to be self-contained stories, which were made specifically to experiment with new characters and plots while simultaneously expanding the cinematic universe.
They were short-lived, with four short films released between 2011 and 2014; the death knell sounded in 2018. Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito blamed the success of the Marvel films and the busy schedule for the disappearance of the shorts, while one-shot writer Eric Pearson blamed lackluster Blu-ray sales.
While entertaining, the one-shots weren’t quite necessary viewing — but it turns out that the final one-shot, All Hail the King, is very important to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. If you want to remain 100% spoiler-free, look away now — but we aren’t actually spoiling anything that hasn’t been revealed by Marvel already.
If you watched it, and remembered it all these years later, you probably weren’t surprised with Ben Kingsley’s not-so-shock cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. In Iron-Man 3 Kingsley played Trevor Slattery, an actor posing as The Mandarin, who was arrested at the end of the movie.
In Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, he’s revealed to be serving as something of a court jester for Wenwu, aka the real Mandarin. He briefly explains that he was broken out of prison by one of Wenwu’s men in order to be killed for his crimes — but the how is never explained.
That’s where All Hail the King comes in. The one-shot features Trevor in prison, a veritable celebrity amongst his peers for his dastardly deeds on the outside.
A documentary filmmaker comes to the prison, presumably to make a documentary, but it is revealed that he’s really one of The Ten Rings’ henchmen, and he’s there to break Slattery out of jail so he can answer for the slander he perpetrated against the real Mandarin.
While the one-shot never shows the actual break-out, it does effectively set up the lead into Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. And it turns out, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton had this idea all along.
He told Uproxx: “[I]t was a sharp film and that’s part of the MCU. And so, we want to be true to that story as well. And including that storyline in this movie I think was not only just really fun, I think it’s essential to hear that character admit how ridiculous that whole situation was.”
Of course, given the status of the one-shots in general, you’d be forgiven for not remembering it, but it does seem to at least add more credence to why Marvel didn’t bother keeping Kingsley’s Shang-Chi cameo a secret (even if we disagree with that decision).
Previously, the one-shots were buried on extra sections of Blu-rays. Now, thanks to Disney Plus, you can watch them all, including of course All Hail the King.
Source: Read Full Article