Good news everyone! We can all take a moment to take a breath and relax because, according to Deadline, Chiwetel Ejiofor has finally joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The powerhouse actor that you know from 12 Years a Slave and Serenity will be taking up the mantle of Doctor Strange’s most iconic villain — Baron Mordo.
Who is this relatively obscure character, Baron Mordo, and why should we care you may ask? Baron Mordo is one of Doctor Strange’s biggest villains and one of his first, appearing in Strange Tales #111, where Doctor Strange first appeared in Strange Tales #110. He is every bit as powerful a sorcerer and mystic as the good doctor, but his motivation is off. Simply, where Doctor Strange wants to wield his powers for the good and benefit of humanity, Baron Mordo wants all the power that comes with it. You know, classic villain stuff.
Baron Mordo is the student of the Ancient One long before Stephen Strange the surgeon shows up. He feels so strongly that he should hold the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme that he actually makes an attempt on the Ancient One’s life, that Strange is then able to help stop. Later on, in what is considered by many to be one of the first true graphic novels, called the Infinity Saga, Baron Mordo teamed up with the Lord of the Dark Dimension, Dormammu, to release him into our plane of existence. They were defeated only after Strange sought the advice of the cosmic entity, Eternity.
Once more, much like with Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, Doctor Strange (the film, not the Sorcerer Supreme), is bending their casting here as Baron Karl Mordo has traditionally been caucasian, specifically Eastern European. Updating the cinematic versions of our favorite characters to fit into the more diversified paradigm of the modern world is a good thing to do; otherwise, 95% of our characters would be white males — more a reflection of the day and age in which they were created and not so much the world we live in now.
Seriously. Chiwetel Ejiofor vs Benedict Cumberbatch? How will you say no to this film?
Doctor Strange is due for release next November.
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