Hot on the reveal of the first official photo of actor Benedict Cumberbatch in full costume as the Marvel comics hero “Doctor Strange,” the film studio has revealed who the Sorcerer Supreme will be battling when his first standalone film hits theaters on Nov. 4, 2016. With the most high-concept hero needing an equally high-concept villain, Marvel studios has turned to an actor with some serious bad guy skills.
According to IGN, after a slew of leaks from the production of the upcoming film, Marvel announced that the principal cast would include Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikkelsen. While many of the cast’s official roles have been kept a tight secret, the release of the new photo came with the announcement that Mikkelsen, the former star of NBC’s cult-hit “Hannibal,” will play the main bad guy to Strange in the second Phase 3 movie from Marvel.
Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the movie, saying that it will take audiences through a sort of tour of the multiverse and explore the otherworldly dimensions that made the character’s comic book counterpart so popular. Although he promises a look through these visually fantastical settings, guarded by The Ancient One (Swinton), Feige promised that danger can lurk within.
“Mads’ character is a sorcerer who breaks off into his own sect,” he told the outlet. “[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.”
Unfortunately, Feige wants to keep the actual identity of Mikkelsen’s comic book counterpart a secret. However, given the information he teased, some theories have developed as to who the main villain will be in the upcoming film.
Anyone who has read "Doctor Strange" will immediately think of the villain Nightmare. The baddie, who rules his very own dream dimension, was the first to battle Doctor Strange when he debuted in 1963. However, Nightmare is a ruler and not some kind of sorcerer that decides to break off and start his own sect. Even if the movies take several creative liberties with the villain’s origin story, based on the teaser from Feige, it seems unlikely that Mikkelsen will portray Nightmare.
Instead, a much more likely candidate is the villain Dormammu. In the comic books, he is also a ruler of the mysterious Dark Dimension. However, his first encounter with the hero in the comic books has to do with allowing a horde of mystical enemies from breaching the Dark Dimension and terrorizing ours. This plotline, if adapted to the big screen, could fit in with what Feige teased about the upcoming movie. Another bit of evidence to support Dormammu as Mikkelsen’s character is the fact that, in the comic books, he is the uncle of the character Clea, who is a main love interest to Strange. With McAdams’ character still shrouded in mystery, it’s possible they’ll be revealed as the two characters in question in a single announcement in the coming months.
Another, albeit less likely, option is the villain D’Spayre. Created by an even darker force, D’Spayre feeds off people’s fear. He acts as his master’s spy on Earth, setting the seeds of despair around the world and biding his time until the world can be gripped by enough fear for him to overpower the world’s heroes. Unfortunately, this is unlikely given that it would mean Mikkelsen’s character is a spy the entire time he’s on screen. However, only time will tell what the film has in store for the former “Hannibal” star.
Who do you think Mikkelsen will play in the upcoming “Doctor Strange” movie? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.