It’s safe to say that Doctor Strange will survive both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 as Benedict Cumberbatch will be one of the biggest names attached to the Marvel Cinematic Universe once Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Scarlett Johansson all retire from the franchise.
But now we know a few more details about what his Sorcerer Supreme could face if Marvel Studios give director and co-writer Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange 2 the green light.
Original Doctor Strange co-writer, C. Robert Cargill, discussed his and Derrickson’s plot ideas at a Q&A following a screening of the movie in Austin, Texas, and confirmed which Big Bad they’re working with.
That villain is Nightmare, a stalwart of the Doctor Strange and Ghost Rider Marvel Comics who made his first appearance in Strange Tales #110 in 1963.
Nightmare is an omnipotent, otherworldly being and ruler of the Dream Dimension who has the power to siphon off psychic energies, from the subconscious minds of humans, while they sleep. He also has a demonic, black horse called Dreamstalker which could mean that Doctor Strange 2 heads into more frightful territory.
Derrickson has a plethora of horror movies to his name – including Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Devil’s Knot – and given the supernatural themes of Doctor Strange he may want to go down Josh Boones’ New Mutants route and make a hybrid superhero horror movie too.
Nightmare won’t be the only villain Doctor Strange faces off against; he’ll also have to contend with former ally Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejifor), as Cargill explains:
“Some of the better Marvel films have more than one villain in them. Me and Scott have not laid the groundwork for it but what I can say is that I have a feeling that whatever Nightmare is involved with, Baron Mordo, being somebody who considers himself the defender of natural law will have something to do with it.”
At the end of Doctor Strange, Mordo becomes disillusioned with both the Ancient One and Doctor Strange for using forbidden mystical powers that defy nature’s laws. In a post-credit scene he finds Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt) who has been using mystical energy to allow himself to walk.
Mordo steals it, forcing Pangborn to become a cripple again, and declares that there are “too many sorcerers” on Earth, hinting that he’s on a militant mission to stop any person using sorcery in a way he deems unworthy.
Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Mordo in the film (Disney/Marvel)
Cargill suggests that Mordo’s role in the movies will mirror the comic books and Marvel fans will be happy he gets a definitive ending that stays true to the page.
“Part of the reason Chiwetel wanted to play Mordo was because he has a definitive ending as a character and it’s such a fascinating ending,” the writer says, “And I do know that whether we’re attached or not, that Marvel plans on working towards that ending and fully realising Mordo as more than just a cardboard cutout villain, but actually taking him to kind of Loki levels of awesomeness.”
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has not officially confirmed a Doctor Strange sequel, as the studio is waiting to complete Phase Three, but as the original film earned both critical and commercial acclaim its likely to be on their release schedule soon enough.
Doctor Strange can next be seen in Avengers: Infinity War on April 26.