One of the most interesting discoveries to come from Doctor Strange over the past few months, was the reveal that Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo wouldn’t be a nemesis to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Strange in the film, but more like a mentor or brother-in-arms so to speak. The possibility of a villainous turn from the character has remained open, but for right now, it seems like Mordo isn’t the bad guy fans know him to be, for now at least.
While speaking with Comicbook.com following the film’s panel at Hall H in San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend though, the film’s director, Scott Derrickson, revealed that fans may still see Mordo become the villain he is in the comics, but that the arc from ally to villain was one he specifically wanted to see happen onscreen.
He even went so far as to compare Mordo to Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius, calling them both believers:
“There’s definitely an evolution in the relationship. I didn’t want to do what the comics did and start off with Mordo just being and arch nemesis and a bad guy straight from the beginning. I think with all so called villains, with all antagonists in any movie, you are only as invested in them as you are in their point of view and Mordo has a good strong point of view in this movie and the same is true of Mads Mikkelson’s character. They’re both men of idea, men of principles, men of beliefs and those are the kind of antagonists I enjoy watching, so we tried to make a movie with those kind of antagonists.”
Honestly, I’d say that letting Ejiofor, an actor with an immense capability to perform onscreen experience a full arc from friend to foe rather than immediately starting him out as a villain, would not only be more interesting thematically, but also just seems more fitting for an actor with his talents.
Even more so in the footage that was shown in Hall H than the official trailer that was released, Mordo very much seems like a mentor to Strange in the film, as not only the man who introduces him to Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One, but also being there to help shepherd him through his mystical training and studies, along with Benedict Wong’s Wong. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a whole movie where Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor get to navigate through the waters of mentorship and jealousy together?
Doctor Strange is set to hit theatres on November 4th.
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