Actor Faran Tahir, who just appeared as doomed USS Kelvin Captain Richard Robau in director J. J. Abrams' hit film Star Trek, first caught the eye of comic book fans as the villain Raza in the 2008 film Iron Man. Tahir's character was responsible for the accident that would change Tony Stark's life forever but many fans thought that Raza would go on to do much more. In the film Raza leads a terrorist group called the Ten Rings and in the Marvel comic books that the movie is based on Iron Man's archenemy was a mystical character named the Mandarin, who happened to wear ten rings. This fact, along with a few other references in the film has led fans to speculate if Raza either worked for or would eventually be revealed as the Mandarin. Although it appeared as if he was killed near the end of the first film, his supposed death took place off-screen so there is reason to believe that he not could return.
We recently had an opportunity to speak with Faran Tahir while he was attending an event celebrating the release of the Star Trek DVD and Blu-Ray. Tahir has gone on the record in the past as saying that he believed that his character does have some connection to the Mandarin and that he thought the villain might be included in upcoming films and that he hoped to return to play the role. Knowing this, I asked the actor point-blank if he would be appearing in Iron Man 2? "No, no I'm not in the film," Tahir replied absolutely.
So unless another actor has been cast, and there are no signs to indicate that there has, I think it's safe for fans to assume that they will not be seeing an Iron Man vs. Mandarin showdown on the big screen anytime soon.