Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ Casts Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo
Several months after we first learned he was being eyed for a role in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, we finally know who Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor will play in the upcoming superhero adventure. And yes, everyone guessed right: the 12 Years a Slave star will take on the role of Baron Mordo, Stephen Strange’s arch-nemesis and fellow student of the mystic arts.
The news comes from Deadline, who have a very interesting detail aside from the actual casting news:
Although he’s an enemy in the comics, don’t look for him to be necessarily a completely villainous character. Rather, he’s an amalgamation of characters culled from Doctor Strange‘s mythology.
In the comics, Baron Mordo is a student of the powerful sorcerer known as the Ancient One. When he plots to murder his teacher and take on the mantle of the Sorcerer Supreme, fellow student Stephen Strange intervenes, stopping Mordo and saving the Ancient One’s life. And then revenge is plotted and the two become enemies for life. So this news is very interesting because it implies that Ejiofor’s take on the character may not be as one-note as his comic book counterpart. After all, why cast an actor this good to play a cackling supervillain? If director Scott Derrickson is smart, he’ll give this incredible actor more to do than get foiled by the hero.
Ejiofor joins a cast that already includes Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One. The fact that those three will share the screen in any way is exciting news. The fact that they’ll share the screen while blasting magical spells at one another is cause for celebration.
Although he’s best known for his dramatic work, this isn’t the first time Ejiofor has dipped his toes in the geek world. You probably recognize him from Joss Whedon’s Serenity, where he played the ruthless villain known only as The Operative. He’s no stranger to playing bad guys who steal movies right out from under the heroes. The real issue here is that now we want to see Ejiofor and Cumberbatch switch characters.
Doctor Strange is set to hit theaters on November 4, 2016.