One of the big wild cards in 'Iron Man 3' appears to be Ben Kingsley's The Mandarin, a modern update on a politically incorrect comic book villain that most audiences aren't familiar with. The trailers and spots have given us glimpses of the character and let us hear snippets of his oddball voice, but a new clip from the upcoming film gives us our best look at Kingsley's performance yet.

The Oscar-wining actor appeared on Jonathan Ross' talk show last night and (surprise, surprise!) he brought a clip from 'Iron Man 3' with him. The quick, Iron Man-free scene (which we found via Bleeding Cool) finds The Mandarin taking control of American televisions to speak directly to the President himself, threatening to execute a hostage on live television. The context of the scene is missing (what does The Mandarin want? Why is the hostage important?) but Kingsley's performance speaks for itself. Much internet ink has already been spilled about his bizarre, untraceable accent, but Kingsley just oozes charismatic menace in the clip. We can't wait to see him in the context of the rest of the film.

Also, film buffs will note that the President is played by the great character actor William Sadler and that the equally great Miguel Ferrer pops up in another shot (he's not even listed in the official credits on IMDB yet!). It looks like director Shane Black has given the third 'Iron Man' film a very deep acting bench.

'Iron Man 3' opens on May 3rd.

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