Does Doctor Strange have a post-credits scenes for [spoiler]? YES! If you’re interested, stay all the way through the credits to ensure you view both.
And by “both” we are indeed confirming that there are precisely two (2!) buttons during and at the end of the credits roll, proving the previous leaks and rumors true. Both of course, lay seeds for the future of the Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sorcerer Supreme in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here we’ll discuss the second of the two scenes and if you’d like to know about the first “mid-credits scene” and discuss that, head here.
NOTE: The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for Marvel’s Doctor Strange
The mid-credits button featuring Thor seeking the help of Strange teases Cumberbatch’s appearance in next year’s Thor: Ragnarok but the post-credits scene that plays after all the credits roll looks a few more years into the future. In this scene it becomes clear that Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) has embraced his villainous destiny.
Mordo is a straight-up two-dimensional villain in the comics of the ’60s and was played that way, fueled by jealously and lust for power in the 2007 animated feature film as well. For the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe adaptation they modernized the character and took advantage of Ejiofor’s Oscar-caliber talents. In Doctor Strange, Mordo is positioned as an ally and advocate of Stephen Strange, and convinces The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) to take Strange in as a new trainee of the mystic arts.
Mordo believes in following the rules, protecting the “natural order” and doing what’s necessary to protect Earth. It’s his strength and determination in these beliefs that makes him such a worthy master and follower of The Ancient One. Throughout the film Mordo is baffled and frustrated by the idea of anyone breaking these rules, first with Doctor Strange using the Eye of Agamotto to manipulate time and later, his belief system is shattered when it’s revealed that The Ancient One has been not following her own guidelines, that she herself was drawing energy from the Dark Dimension to extend her life (“for the greater good”).
During the final act battle, Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto yet again to undo the damage to the Hong Kong Sanctum Sanctorum and reverse the Dark Dimensional breach that’s beginning to envelope our planet. Even though this is absolutely necessary, after Strange succeeds, Mordo announces his retirement from Kamar-Taj. He’s done with it and what it represents. The Ancient One deceived him and what sorcerers now represent sickens the stubborn Mordo. He’s last seen walking away from Strange and fellow mystic master, Wong (Benedict Wong).
The post-credits scene takes place months after the events of Doctor Strange’s main story and sees Mordo finding a new purpose. His quest is to rid the world of anyone abusing power, of sorcerers who he deems don’t deserve that power. In his mind, it’s too dangerous and can lead to another Kaecilius-esque problem in the future. Mordo locates Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt) – the character who overcame paralysis by using magic – and somehow drains of him of that power.
It’s unclear how Mordo does this and if “magic” is just an energy that can be transferred (since it would seem Pangborn could just conjure another similar spell to re-heal) but what matters is that Mordo is seemingly using some form of dark magic in his personal vendetta. And it’s not out of pure jealously or some master plan to conquer the world and be all-powerful. He saw our world almost fall and wants to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Mordo seemingly desires to protect Earth at all costs, just in his own way. It makes him a far more grounded “villain” than he is in the source material, and since this is clearly setup for the eventual Doctor Strange 2, it could be putting Mordo on the path toward being one of the better-developed and more clearly-motivated adversaries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
When we visited the set of Doctor Strange in February, director Scott Derrickson made it clear to us that Mordo is being setup for the sequel the director very much hopes to make. And across the board the crew and talent seemed confident they were building a story that would be continued. This post-credits scene confirms it and now we can speculate about when Doctor Strange 2 will release (could be as early as 2019 as the beginning of Phase 4) and what it’ll be about.
In the comics Mordo has allied with other infamous Marvel villains, so in Doctor Strange 2, assuming Mordo is a key antagonist, there could very well be another larger villain at play (as Derrickson also teased). Since Mordo isn’t “evil” in the traditional sense, it’s also possible the Strange-Mordo dynamic could mirror that of Thor-Loki in that they may team-up again for greater threats, assuming they both share the goal of protecting Earth from mystic baddies.
Stephen Strange may be a future Avenger, but there’s another magic warrior on a quest to protect our planet and that’s an exciting idea.