For months, fans have been clamoring for their first real look at Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character of Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange. Entertainment Weekly answered the prayers of nerds everywhere this week, with the first look at Cumberbatch donning the high collar and tacky goatee in the flesh. Also released were a couple bits of concept art, which appear to depict Strange’s lair and Strange in the hospital, presumably after the accident that ruins his hands.
In Marvel Comics, Stephen Strange is Earth’s resident Sorcerer Supreme – in essence, he’s the best mystic around, and the first line of defense against mystical threats. Strange was a brilliant but arrogant surgeon before a car accident destroyed his hands; left desperate for a cure, he eventually found himself on a path to magic and sorcery. Doctor Strange stories are often a place where readers can find weird concepts and trippy visuals, and Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige told EW that history will be well-represented on the big screen. “We will take audiences through sort of a guide to the multiverse, other dimensions, and there are amazing things out there — wonders that are going to be hopefully visually extremely interesting and unique to this movie,” he said. “But there are also very scary things in these other dimensions.”
One of those “scary things” might be related to another bit of news that EW dropped: namely, that Mads Mikkelsen will play the film’s main baddie. Feige described him as “a sorcerer who breaks off into his own sect” against Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One, but neglected to actually name the character. Mikkelsen is perhaps best known for his turn as the titular cannibal on NBC’s Hannibal, which ended after three seasons earlier this year. As for wild speculation on who he might be suiting up as, Doctor Strange is arguably most closely associated with two rogues – Baron Mordo and Dorammu. We already know Mordo will appear in the film as portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor (actually, until now we kind of all assumed he was the main baddie), so perhaps Mikkelsen will play an altered version of Dorammu – in the comics, he’s the otherworldly ruler of an alternate dimension, but maybe Marvel is altering his origin for the screen to make him a rogue sorcerer instead. It’s also entirely possible Mikkelsen is playing another villain from Strange’s long history, or a new character entirely.
Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson and also starring Rachel McAdams, hits theaters on Nov. 4. Check out the images from EW below.[via Entertainment Weekly]