By the hoary Eye of Agomotto!
Back when there were only whispers that Marvel were thinking of bringing Black Panther to the big screen, I was heavily banging the drum to get Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor cast as the titular Prince T’Challa. I had been a fan of his since I first saw him on Firefly, and wanted him to get in on the biggest box office action possible. Of course Chadwick Boseman actually ended up getting the role, but I never gave up hope that Ejiofor was going to get big magical gig. And boy did he ever!
Deadline is reporting that Marvel have tapped Ejiofor to go toe to sorcerous toe with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange as his arch nemesis Baron Mordo. Well sort of. Because while Mordo has traditionally been one of Strange’s central foes (and a sometimes very cartoonish one at that), Deadline claims that Ejiofor won’t necessarily be the film’s main moustache twirling antagonist. According to their report, this version of Mordo will be “an amalgamation of characters culled from Doctor Strange‘s mythology.”
Marvel used the same approach for Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash in Iron Man 2, as he was a combination of two separate Iron Man villains from the comics. Similarly, Deadline are claiming that the recent casting of Tilda Swinton as Strange’s mentor, the Ancient One, will also get a bit of tweaking. Well besides for the obvious fact that Swinton is clearly not an old Tibetan man.
Doctor Strange will be telling the tale of the titular character, an arrogant, unlikeable neurosurgeon who loses his ability to operate when his hands are damaged in a car accident. Depressed and desperate for a way to heal himself, he starts exploring mystical avenues and journeys to a hidden Tibetan community where he doesn’t just become a better person but also learns about powerful magic and hidden dimensions from its leader, the Ancient One.
Traditionally in the comics, Mordo was also one of the Ancient One’s students with Strange, but when he plotted to kill his master, Strange discovered it and helped the Ancient One to stop him. With Strange eventually being the one to inherit the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme from the Ancient One, he and Mordo have been mortal enemies ever since. Time will tell how Ejiofor’s version will differ – besides for the obvious, but totally irrelevant skin color thing – but he is such a fantastic actor that I have the utmost faith in him.
Doctor Strange will be director by Scott Derrickson (Sinister) and has been written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). It is scheduled for release on November 4, 2016.
Last Updated: June 12, 2015