With production well underway on Captain America: Civil War, things are picking up for Marvel Studios’ next project on deck to start filming, Doctor Strange. After what seemed like a year-long process to find its lead actor (which at one point had Joaquin Phoenix in negotiations), Marvel and director Scott Derrickson (Sinister) finally closed a deal with Benedict Cumberbatch to play the Sorcerer Supreme—a Tony Stark-esque cocky surgeon who loses the use of his hands in an accident, and while on a subsequent quest to heal himself, stumbles across magic.
Back in January, word surfaced that 12 Years a Slave actor Chiwetel Ejiofor was in early talks to sign onto the pic in an unknown role. Those talks have yet to lead to a deal, but details have now surfaced about the character Ejiofor may be playing. Deadline reports that the actor is in line to fill the role of the film’s villain, Baron Mordo.
In the comics, Mordo and Doctor Strange are both pupils of the Tibetan sorcerer known as The Ancient One. Strange thwarts Mordo’s plot to kill his teacher, and in return is trained by The Ancient One in the art of magic in order to be a formidable opponent to the villainous Mordo.
However, Deadline reports that the film’s iteration of Mordo might be quite different. In keeping with the gender twisting casting of Tilda Swinton for The Ancient One (how brilliant is that choice?), the report notes that the movie version of Mordo is “an amalgamation of characters culled from Doctor Strange’s mythology” and cautions that he won’t necessarily be a completely villainous character.
Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts penned the script for Doctor Strange, and as Derrickson has continued to develop the project it sounds like Marvel is taking some exciting liberties when it comes to the source material. Of course Marvel Studios has never really done a straight adaptation of a storyline from the comics, and Iron Man 3 wonderfully subverted expectations when it came to The Mandarin, so this isn’t something entirely foreign. It is, however, interesting, especially if Ejiofor ultimately signs on. Adding Swinton to the ensemble was a massive coup, and throwing an actor of Ejiofor’s caliber into the already stellar mix would be icing on the cake.
Expect to hear more Doctor Strange casting as the film gears up to begin shooting later this year. The movie is slated for release on November 4, 2016. Click here to catch up on all of our Doctor Strange coverage.
For a refresher on all of Marvel’s confirmed releases, see below. And for a catalog of all upcoming superhero movie release dates, click here.
- Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
- Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
- Doctor Strange – November 6, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017
- Spider-Man Reboot – July 28, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 – May 4, 2018
- Black Panther – July 6, 2018
- Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 – May 3, 2019
- Inhumans – July 12, 2019