Back in August, we reported that Mads Mikkelsen was in talks to play the villain opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. With today’s release of the first official images of Cumberbatch in his Strange garb, EW is also providing confirmation that Mikkelsen is playing the film’s antagonist.
Marvel Studios president and Doctor Strange producer Kevin Feige explains that in the world of the film, it’s up to characters like Strange and his teacher The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) to stop the “scary things” from other dimensions coming and harming humanity. EW reports that Mikkelsen’s character is
“a sorcerer who breaks off into his own sect,” says the Marvel Studios boss. “[He] believes that the Ancient One is just protecting her own power base and that the world may be better off if we were to allow some of these other things through.”
That doesn’t make a lot of sense, and I’m really hoping that Mikkelsen breaks the trend of crummy Marvel villains (Captain America: Civil War doesn’t really seem to feature villains, thankfully) so perhaps they’re just being vague right now. In fact, they refuse to reveal the character’s name at this stage. “I’ve seen lots of names thrown around,” says executive producer Stephen Broussard. “No one has quite picked the name that we’ve chosen for him. It would be fun to conceal that, if we can.”
Right now, the biggest guess is Dormammu, Strange’s main antagonist in the comics. While one would presume that the role would be Baron Mordo based on Feige’s reveal that this is a sorcerer who forms his own sect, that role already belongs to co-star Chiwetel Ejiofor. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out, but hopefully, Marvel makes the smart play and doesn’t kill Mikkelsen off after only one movie and gives his character room to grow.
This film, directed by Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose helmer Scott Derrickson, is Marvel Studios’ first foray into the realm of the mystical, and Cumberbatch tells EW that folks are in for a treat once the visual effects come into play:
“These gestures are ways of creating the magic. It’s a beautiful thing, it’s balletic, it’s very dynamic. And once the boys in the backroom get to work on it, there’s going to be crazy shit going on… There’s all sorts of craziness [in Doctor Strange]. Falling, flying, jumping, fighting, punching, getting punched. It’s really rough and tumble.”
The film also stars Rachel McAdams as Night Nurse and Michael Stuhlbarg as Nicodemus West. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016. Here’s the official logline:
“Doctor Strange” follows the story of neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a horrific car accident, discovers the hidden world of magic and alternate dimensions.