Originally Posted by Todd K
The problem with characters like the Mandarin is that they're not grounded in the real world, which has been Favreau's focus and what's made the first film successful: plausibility.
I think it COULD be possible to ground The Mandarin, with a little reworking. Maybe something a little like his most recent appearance, as the head of mysterious international conglomerate Prometheus Global. And perhaps tone down the alien aspects of his technology, make his tech more on par with Stark's.