As part of today’s Doctor Strange takeover, several new stills from the upcoming film have been released for our enjoyment.
Several of the photos feature Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s Mordo. Strange’s longtime archenemy in the comics, it seems that this iteration of the character will find himself on the same side of the fight as Stephen Strange, for now. According to director Scott Derrickson, Mordo’s story is meant to be told over the course of the franchise:
Yeah, in the case of Mordo, in the comic books, that character was just really arch. You know, just really arch and he’s in the origin issue and even in reading through – and I’ve read the entire body of Doctor Strange now – it was a difficult character, very difficult character to adapt. Because of the very basic archness that he plays all the way through there. So we wanted to keep what were the interesting aspects of him (his relationship with The Ancient One) but the only way that Mordo who needs to be a presence in the universe of Doctor Strange and God willing, in sequels, I felt that we had to start by establishing who he was before he got into that arch villainy in the comics. And that’s a lot of what we’re doing in this movie is we’re sort of building a foundational understanding of who he was before the guy that you met in that comic so that that turn isn’t an arch turn.
It seems from the interviews and the photos that the relationship between Strange and Mordo will be integral to the development of the future Sorcerer Supreme and that Mordo will be one of Strange’s key allies and an important part of his early training. One photo features Mordo tutoring Strange in the use of what’s been referred to as a “sling ring”, which is apparently the mystical object the sorcerers use to open doors to teleport. Teleportation, seen in the trailers and again in a still with Strange and the Ancient One, is a fantastic new skill, one of many this film will introduce.
Another interesting idea brought out by the stills is that there will be more to Strange than just throwing some magic around. While a large part of the arsenal of the sorcerers will be their spell-casting, Derrickson has made it known that there will be no shortage of martial artistry on display. So, seeing Strange training in one of the disciplines is in line with that idea and comic accurate to the character.
The stills also show Rachel McAdams, whose character was recently confirmed to be Christine Palmer, helping her old friend Stephen Strange down a hospital hallway. Palmer and Strange have a past and it’ll be interesting to see how she finds her old friend in his new role as a sorcerer.