Doctor Strange is about to unleash a whole new era for Marvel. Not only will the good doctor be the second film in Phase 3 of Marvel's Cinematic Universe, but he’ll also be the first officially mystical superhero logging serious time in the franchise. And as the MCU expands to include a broader range of their character stable, fans are learning that the film will keep some aspects which made the comic book successful, but not necessarily all of them.
Studio head Kevin Feige recently revealed some of spellcasting abilities and magical icons Doctor Strange uses to combat his foes the upcoming film. And as the studio releases new information, more is revealed about who Marvel’s strangest superhero will be in movie form. However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions revolving around the film, such as exactly who his adversaries will be.
Recently Mads Mikkelsen was revealed as the "main villain." However, one of the biggest curiosities remains which side of the fence Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo will wind up on. In a recent chat with EW, Ejiofor discusses his role in greater detail but isn’t entirely forthcoming about which side the Baron is playing for:
"Oh, he’s a very complex character that, really, I don’t think can be nailed down either way, you know. I guess it’s something to experience, is what I’d say."
Not exactly an admission of villainy or heroism, Ejiofor seems unwilling to let too much slip before the film’s release next November – as Marvel is likely taking a page from Lucasfilm’s tease-heavy marketing plan. His evasive response doesn’t divulge much about Baron Mordo’s mindset, but he does explore more about the character and his relationship to Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One:
"In terms of his life with the Ancient One, it’s this long and intense relationship they have that’s just very deep and very connected. I think they both recognize in Strange this certain quality that they feel is going to be very useful in a situation they’re in…” Ejiofor says, “So, when they all meet, they realize that he’s somebody that can be plugged into this very surreal, interesting, sort of fascinating circumstance that they’re all in, and the dangers that they face. And so it becomes a process of assimilating him into their ways of life."
In the comics, Baron Mordo appears primarily as Doctor Strange’s antagonist. He typically plots to kill the Ancient One, astral projects himself into someone close to the Doctor to cause trouble, attempts to steal ancient knowledge, or uses his magical powers to menace the world in some way, shape, or form. With such a cozy history, it seems unlikely that the Baron and Doctor are headed for a bromance.
However, Marvel has been known to play fast and loose with their characters’ comic book origins. It’s possible that Baron Mordo winds up befriending Doctor Strange, either dubiously or genuinely, before they turn on each other. Or maybe circumstances will force them to forge a tenuous allegiance against the greater evil of Mikkelsen’s character. At this rate, we’ll probably have to wait until November to find out.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 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.