Empire has the goods on Marvel’s Doctor Strange and will reveal them in this week’s cover story. For now, the magazine has shared two new images. The first (above) features Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) and Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in what looks like a happy or maybe just passive aggressive moment that predates the accident that will rob Strange of his career as a neurosurgeon.
We still know very little about Palmer in this film. In the comics, Christine Palmer is also known as the Night Nurse, treating Marvel’s New York superheroes for all the bumps, bruises, and broken bones that inevitably come from a life of crime-fighting. With so few Marvel Cinematic Universe characters having secret identities (especially the ones in the movies), there may not be as much of a need for Palmer to fulfill the Night Nurse role. For now, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige refers to Palmer as “an anchor to [Strange’s] past life.”
The second image (immediately above) is of the film’s antagonist, Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen). To call Kaecilius a minor villain in the source material is generous, so there is no question that the film is taking the name and creating its own character. For starters, Mikkelsen does not really see Kaecilius as a villain in the traditional sense.
“[He’s] a man who believes in a better world, a world without human tragedy, but his means are quite different from the ones Doctor Strange is using, therefore conflict.”
Creating a world without human tragedy sounds more heroic than villainous, but as we’ve seen before, the means to such an end can be tragic in their own right and force a superhero (or Sorcerer Supreme) to intervene.
As nice as it always is to have new images from an upcoming Marvel movie, what intrigues me most about Empire‘s tease of its upcoming article is a note about Karl Amadeus Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
Tantalisingly, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo, a long-standing Strange antagonist in the comic books, has shadier motivations.
Because Mordo has been one of Doctor Strange’s most famous and frequent foes in the comics, many of us have assumed that a villainous turn is coming from Ejiofor. We just did not know if that would happen in the first film or a potential sequel. Since Empire is already talking about “shadier motivations” for Mordo compared to Kaecilius, it sounds like Mordo’s conversion to the role of an antagonist in the MCU will at least begin in Doctor Strange.
Marvel’s Doctor Strange is in theaters November 4.