British actors with a background in classic theatre are known for bringing some gravitas and credibility to comic book movies, whether it's Anthony Hopkins
as Odin in Marvel's Thor, or Patrick Stewart
and Ian McKellen
as Professor Xavier and Magneto in the X-Men films (including the upcoming Days of Future Past).
From that same generation of veterans comes Ben Kingsley
, stepping into the role of archnemesis the Mandarin in Iron Man 3
The movie is Marvel's biggest departure yet from the comic books it publishes, with the studio (now under the aegis of Disney) clearly aiming for a much more populist and comedic approach. It certainly worked with the snappy humour in Avengers and now there's more of that in Iron Man 3
, though I'd argue the laughs weren't as effective as Whedon's spot-on quippery.
The characterisation of Mandarin has caused much consternation among the hardcore fanboys, though it works within the movie.