Chiwetel Ejiofor will play Benedict Cumberbatch's frenemy in 'Doctor Strange'

After an intriguing rumour involving Tilda Swinton, the cast of Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ is starting to take shape, and it’s looking pretty interesting.

According to Deadline, Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor of “12 Years A Slave” fame has been cast opposite Benedict Cumberbatch as Baron Mordo, Dr. Strange’s comic book nemesis.

However, the Deadline report makes it clear Ejiofor’s Mordo might not necessarily be the villain he is in the comics.

That’s not unreasonable, given Mordo’s connection to Dr. Strange’s origin — like Strange, he is a pupil of Tibetan sorcerer The Ancient One. Unlike Strange, he plots to murder his mentor. It’s this plot that actually sets Stephen Strange on the path to becoming Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, as The Ancient One takes Strange into his tutelage after the hero warns him of Mordo’s plot. The Ancient One then exiles Baron Mordo as punishment, and a bitter rivalry forms between Strange and Mordo.

Here’s how he looks in a relatively recent comic, 2010’s “X-Factor” #207 by Peter David, David Yardin, and Sebastian Fiumara.

Mordo also appeared in an episode of the ’90s Fox animated series “Spider-Man.”

It was weird.

It’s really interesting that the Deadline report is so strongly hedging against calling Ejiofor’s character a villain. Chances are that Marvel’s looking for another Loki, a charismatic-yet-sympathetic antagonist that will be as much of a hit with audiences as the hero (and possibly make appearances in other films). An actor of Ejiofor’s calibre is guaranteed to be anything but boring.

At the very least, “Doctor Strange” is shaping up to be the most British Marvel film yet.

“Doctor Strange” is scheduled to arrive in theatres November 4, 2016.

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