Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King

Drew Pearce Unleashes His Marvel One-Shot

The writer/director talks about Ben Kingsley's return as Trevor Slattery & more!

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By Marc Strom

Drew Pearce just can't seem to shake Trevor Slattery.

The co-writer of Marvel's "Iron Man 3" returns to the character, memorably brought to life by Ben Kingsley, as the writer and director of "Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King," the latest short film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery

Ben Kingsley returns to the role of Trevor Slattery in Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King
When we first met Trevor, Aldrich Killian had hired the actor to pose as an international terrorist known as the Mandarin before Tony Stark brought Killian's plans crashing down. This time around, though, Pearce will put Trevor in an even bigger predicament than the actor found himself in with "Iron Man 3."

While fans will have to wait until "Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King" becomes available with Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" in Digital 3D and Digital HD on February 4 and 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray February 25, Pearce teases that the new short will add to Trevor's story and, as a result, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"I wrote a Trevor [short], actually, during shooting of 'Iron Man 3' down in North Carolina," recalls Pearce. "And we all liked it, but it was kind of dealing with a different part of Trevor's life. It was more of a straight-up retrospective of who Trevor was, and it felt like the One-Shots work best when there's action and intrigue and a real story to tell in the short, rather than just filling in the blanks. Though the One-Shots are technically a Blu-ray extra, I think they're kind of the most elaborate, richly put together Blu-ray extras in history. I think they work best when they don't just function as an extra scene, but they expand [the story]."

Pearce landed on the idea for "Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King" after a meeting with Marvel producers Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito, Jeremy Latcham, Stephen Broussard, Brad Winderbaum and "Avengers: Age of Ultron" writer/director Joss Whedon.

"We kicked about a whole bunch of my ideas, [and] some of them stuck, some of them didn't," explains Pearce. "[Then] I said 'Oh, Sir Ben loves Trevor, so I think there's a chance we could do a Trevor short.' Joss was literally incredulous, and just said, 'Look, you've got access to one of the world's very best actors, why are we even having this discussion?' And so it was born.

Scoot McNairy and Ben Kingsley

Scoot McNairy plays a documentary filmmaker interviewing Trevor (Ben Kingsley)
"After everything that happened, I thought it would be kind of funny if we actively punished Trevor," continues Pearce. "Partly because, on a moral level, amusingly, Trevor--other than Tony and Pepper--is the one that walks away [at the end of 'Iron Man 3'] with the thing that he wanted, which is fame. That's all he ever really wanted all along. He changed his face, he had access to as many stimulants of both flesh and pharmacy that he ever could want, and then everyone knows his name. So in a weird way, Trevor won. Which is why it seemed really interesting to see what the repercussions of that would be."

Thankfully, Kingsley agreed to come and, as Pearce puts it, "take the three days off that he's had in two years and come and hang out with me in a prison in Los Angeles." But filming the short in a real prison added a necessary layer to Trevor's story.

"What's interesting about Trevor, is he's only funny if everything around him is real," relates the director. "He's almost funnier the more real and threatening the stuff around him is. So my whole thing all along [was], if we're going to do a short about Trevor, everything else in it has to be real and brutal and kind of scary, because that's kind of the amazing thing about Trevor--in the face of true and actual terror, he still acts like a mental case. And actually, it's almost where he thrives. So that's why we shot in a real prison, [and] a whole bunch of the extras we used were real ex-cons. I really wanted it to feel like we were shooting an early-'70s, late-'60s prison movie that Trevor Slattery had just happened to wander into."

Much of the short revolves around a conversation between Trevor and a documentary filmmaker, played by Scoot McNairy. And while spending that much one-on-one screen time with an actor as prestigious as Kingsley would intimidate most people, Pearce knew he'd found the perfect match in McNairy.

Ben Kingsley in Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King

After the events of Iron Man 3, Trevor (Ben Kingsley) enjoys his fame while imprisoned
"Scoot McNairy is one of the hottest, most in demand young indie and mainstream actors at the moment," Pearce acclaims. "It was a big deal for me to have someone that could hold their own opposite Sir Ben, and I think he really does."

With Pearce paying homage to the prison films of decades past, the latest "Marvel One-Shot" has a look and feel unique from not only its fellow shorts, but also any other film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a place where the director feels creators have room to put their own stamp on the characters.

"These things aren't auteur movies, but what they are, I think, are really full of the flavor of the filmmakers that are at their core," remarks Pearce. "So I just feel insanely lucky that Kevin and Louis gave me that chance, really. [That approach] is entirely inspired and in line with what Marvel comics have done since their very inception. Every Marvel comic, whether it's the creation of a character or whether it's the continuation of a character, [is] always just as infused with their author as they are with the character itself. ['Iron Man 3' director] Shane [Black] and I always said, with Iron Man, you're a custodian for a period of time for a thing that has both legacy and immediacy, but you're kind of not doing the character any justice if you don't try and take it to a different place.

"[For instance], if you look at the difference between Joss Whedon's ASTONISHNG X-MEN and the Chris Claremont/John Byrne [UNCANNY X-MEN] era, they're unbelievably different, yet both are powered by the same brilliant themes and stuff [while also] entirely reflective of their different authors' distinctive voices. That's the whole thing about comics, that's how they work, and I think the movies are actually being very faithful to the tradition of the comics in order to do that. There isn't really a 'house style' at Marvel in the MCU."

Pre-order Marvel's "Thor: The Dark World" on 3D Combo Pack and Blu-ray, in stores February 25 featuring the original short film "Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King"!

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Comments

4 comments
Hawkeye_OJG
Hawkeye_OJG

I

think short clips they were going to put in the movie but did not

theodricdelamontagne
theodricdelamontagne

Post these shorts on YouTube or Netflix already. This is the digital age my friends. I don't mind watching a five minute commercial for it

Ginevra372
Ginevra372

To sum up, I think you should include these special features on the DVD disc pack as well. And if it all doesn't fit on 1 disc, put it in a Special Edition 2-Disc DVD pack. Blu-Ray format may be the latest thing, but it and its disc-players are flaky and sometimes can't process the high definition picture & sound while playing the disc.


I know you're trying to encourage your fans to spend more $$$ to buy the Blu-Ray discs, but not all of us can or want to afford a format that was abruptly pushed on the market so soon after DVD's. Additionally, in my current experiences, Blu-Ray players and discs are not quite as reliable in their functionality as DVD's are. I've spent too much time cleaning both a Blu-Ray player and 3 different copies of "Iron Man 3" on Blu-Ray only to not have either of them work. Any other Blu-Ray discs I coincidentally own (Green Lantern Extended, Star Trek: Into Darkness) work most of the time, but it seems Marvel Studios Blu-Rays have problems. I don't own a Blu-Ray player, but I've house-sat for people that have one in their homes, so I bring my Blu-Ray movies with me. And that is my only experience with the format.


The only special features I care about with movies like this are the Deleted Scenes and now these short films that showcase characters we come to enjoy but don't have their own movies/shows. Agent Carter's short film was excellent (minus Howard Stark referring to "SHIELD" by its acronym since continuity of Iron Man 1 suggests the acronym wasn't thought up yet or used openly in place of the organization's long name).


I'd even rather see deleted/additional scenes inserted into an Extended Cut Edition like what New Line Entertainment does with the Lord of the Rings & Hobbit films. Your most dedicated fans (or fans like me that may not've read comics but collected trading cards) would most certainly buy that. I long for the day when we could customize or choose what features we would want on our disc upon ordering it. Deleted Scenes, Trailers and Short Films are what I'd select. I care nothing for commentaries, featurettes or anything else that shows me the actors/crew when they're not in character. No offense, I just like to watch movies/TV to escape reality so as you'd imagine, I can't stand any and all reality TV.