The reintroduction of Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was both completely unexpected, and yet not surprising in the slightest. After all, One-Shot All Hail the King let us know back in 2014 that the real Mandarin was out there, and he wasn’t best pleased that Aldrich Killian had hired a washed-up actor to create a persona based on the Ten Rings leader to use as a front for terrorist activities.
For a long time, it looked as though that particular plot thread wouldn’t be paid off, even after Tony Leung was confirmed as the real Mandarin when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was filling out its cast. Not to dive too far into spoiler territory, but it’s fair to say that Trevor’s return has gone down an absolute storm with MCU fans.
However, the imprisoned thespian isn’t the movie’s only nod to the events of Iron Man 3, although the second is much more subtle. When Shang-Chi and Katy first arrive at the underground fight club in Macau to find his long-lost sister Xu Xialing, we see various scraps happening in the background, and one bout in particular has two notable MCU connections.
One of the fighters is played by Jade Xu, who was very recently seen as a Red Room survivor in Black Widow, and the person she’s fighting looks to be laced with Extremis, the genetic manipulation that was pivotal to the plot of Robert Downey Jr.’s third solo outing. That’s the sort of very minor Easter Egg the MCU has always thrived on, and while it’s hardly an overt thing, it nonetheless helps bed Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings even deeper into the established mythology.