Marvel’s Doctor Strange already boasts one of the more interesting casts in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch taking on the role of the Sorcerer Supreme and Tilda Swinton playing a regendered version of The Ancient One. Now, it’s been revealed which character 12 Years a Slave Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor will be portraying – and as expected, it’s one with extensive roots in comic mythology.
As rumored, Ejiofor will take on the role of Baron Mordo, a long-time enemy of Doctor Strange who first made his comic debut in Strange Tales back in 1963. Interestingly, Deadline reports that Mordo isn’t necessarily an out-and-out villain in this new film but rather an “amalgation” of characters pulled from the pages of the Doctor Strange comics.
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Mordo’s backstory in the comics is that he was mentored by the Ancient One but eventually turned on the sage being with murderous intent. Given that Strange and Mordo may both be mentored by the character in the new movie, it’s possible that the pic could be taking a similar root by having Mordo start good but setting him down a villainous path.
Doctor Strange follows a brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon named Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch), who is involved in a horrific car accident and becomes embroiled in a world of magic and alternate dimensions. Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) penned the script, and horror helmer Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil, Sinister) is directing.
All signs point to this being one of the darker entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, introducing the more magical side of an expansive world that has more focused on technologically enabled or scientifically altered heroes. Some have alleged that Strange will begin his journey to becoming a hero in this stand-alone film but be running a new Avengers lineup at some point in the future, potentially after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, so this is a particularly key film for Marvel.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016.