When superheroes aren’t fighting amongst themselves (which they seem to be doing a lot this year), they need a decent collection of villains to battle. After all, you can’t save the world without having someone to save it from. In Marvel Studios’ second release of 2016, Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch’s title character will presumably be facing off against Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo – though recent set photos suggest that the two characters will start out as allies.
Mordo isn’t the only bad guy that Stephen Vincent Strange will have to contend with, however. Late last year it was confirmed that the “main villain” of the movie will be played by Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal) – though the identity of his character remained unclear. Thanks to this latest bout of on-location filming, however, we have our first look at Mikkelsen in full costume and make-up.
In the images below, Mikkelsen is shown wearing clothes in a similar style to Strange and Mordo – though somewhat plainer. The really eye-catching (no pun intended) part of his character design, however, is the scarring in the center of his forehead and his eyes, which are surrounded by purple and black make-up and prosthetics that make the skin around them look cracked and broken. It should be noted that two other actors were shown in the set photos from yesterday with similar eye make-up, and they appear to be disciples or cohorts of Mikkelsen’s character.
Omg Mads! This looks amazing! pic.twitter.com/tE2rOdqPTP— Cumberbatch Lives (@cumberbatchlive) April 3, 2016
YALLLLLLLL IT WAS MADS LOOK AT HIIIIIMMMM pic.twitter.com/DGAE1iBKN4— Jo (@GoryDolly) April 3, 2016
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said, of Mikkelsen’s character name, “It would be fun to conceal that, if we can” – but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been plenty of speculation. Some have theorized that he is playing regular Doctor Strange foe Dormammu, a tyrannical ruler from another dimension, but the clothes that Mikkelsen is wearing suggest that he comes from a similar background as Strange and Mordo – perhaps another student of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). Then again, there’s also the possibility that Mikkelsen’s character, along with the other characters with darkened eyes, has been possessed by Dormammu; in the comics the villain’s head is depicted as being wreathed in flame, and Mikkelsen’s eyes do look almost burned out.
That’s not the only possibility, of course. Rumored story details from earlier in the production process pointed to the inclusion of a villain character called Kaecilius, who in the comics is a disciple of Mordo, so perhaps that’s who Mikkelsen is playing. As for Mordo himself, it seems like his role could be similar to that of Loki in the first Thor movie – an apparent friend who eventually turns traitor. It will certainly be interesting to see how the story shakes out, but it looks like we’ve had the last of the hints we can get from principal photography; director Scott Derrickson announced on this evening that filming has wrapped, while holding up a copy of the Doctor Strange comic volume Don’t Pay the Ferryman. Is that a hint, or was it just the closest comic to hand?
That's a wrap. pic.twitter.com/eRVY32lte5— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) April 3, 2016
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.