Originally Posted by IronGirl299
They said they planned it even before the first came out and apparently 'everything has been leading up to this.' plus the dude who gives Vanko his fake passport in IM2 is called a 'Ten Rings Gangster' and I think we all noticed the Ten Rings banner behind Tony in the first one, at some point.
So yeah, he's coming.
The question is...how? O_O
There was never any guarantee. Those were cameos that a lot of people wouldn't get and didn't really build up anything in terms of setting up Mandarin for the audience. He certainly wasn't a guarantee for a sequel, even before Favreau left and Black came on board.
Plus Black dismissively called the character a racist characterture when specifically asked about Mandarin being in the film. Whilst it's not an out and out no, it's still reasonable to assume he's probably not going to use him if he doesn't have to.