A friend of mine got to see Iron Man 3 at the premier in the UK. I asked him not to ruin the film for me as I am very much looking forward to seeing it next week. But he said he needed to tell me something because if I experienced it in the theater I would have most likely thrown a fit and gotten kicked out. I'm glad he told me and I'm here to offer this opportunity to those of you who don't mind having the truth about the Mandarin in the film spoiled.
Near the end of the film, Tony Stark decides to track down the Mandarin who for some reason lives in a mansion in Florida, and attack him in his home the same way he did to Tony. Well it turns out The Mandarin is actually just an actor pretending to be a terrorist leader having filmed all the threatening videos on a set. He quickly realizes the gig is up and reveals he was being paid by the true villian of the film Aldrich Killian. The Avengers tattoo is actually worn by the "Mandarin" and as it turns out is because the actor playing "Mandarin" is a huge fan of Tony and the Avengers. Tony then sets off to confront Killian resulting in the grand finale seen in the trailers with over 30 Iron Man suits running about.
So there it is, I'm relieved I was told about this alteration to the character, I think this will seriously upset many devoted fans and even split the audience. But lets hope its handled better as a cohesive film.