(Spoilers in this piece, if you haven’t seen Doctor Strange and hate having stuff ruined STOP READING!)
Provided you’ve not been held prisoner in the Dark Dimension for the last couple years, the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Doctor Strange in the eponymous film comes as no surprise. It may, however, surprise you to find out that the actor played a part in bringing another character from the film to life.
In fact, being held prisoner in the Dark Dimension might actually have given you a better chance at guessing who that might be.
(OK, last chance, SPOILER directly below)
When the good Doctor faces off with the Dread Dormammu in the ultimate battle of the film, it is actually his face he’s facing off with. According to IGN, director Scott Derrickson has confirmed that while Dormammu’s voice was portrayed by another actor during the trippy bargaining session, it was actually Cumberbatch who did the facial capture for him.
We knew it was an all CG character, but as we were in production Benedict brought it up as an idea. He said, ‘What would you think about me doing it?’ I said, ‘Let me think about it, you know,’
It’s an interesting idea, because I did fancy the idea that as this other-dimensional being he’s not moving through the Dark Dimension, with a countenance, with eyes and a face, eyes and a mouth, and a human visage – why would he? He takes that form on to communicate with Strange.
Derrickson continued his rationale for the choice by stressing that no one, in his opinion, would have been better suited to capture the essence of the character than Cumberbatch:
The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea, because no one understood Dormammu better than Benedict did. I also wrote that role to be a kind of ultra-inflated version of Strange. He is an ego run amok; he is this cosmic conqueror where everything, where literally everything in the multiverse is about him. There’s something interesting about this confrontation of this little, tiny guy who has this power of time and this monstrous conqueror who is trapped by a clever gambit. There’s something about that worked well, and I didn’t think anybody to interact with Benedict than he, himself.
And how well it worked indeed. So much so Derrickson has admitted that some of the ideas he has put together for any forthcoming sequels involve the villains pretty heavily in general, and probably Dormammu in particular.
I love the character, I love the visual possibilities, and I know the comics so well – [the first movie is] the tip of an iceberg. There’s so much progress that can be made.
It’s likely we’ll see him again…he doesn’t strike me as someone who would have any problem breaking an oath.
What do you think? Want to see the Dreaded One again? (I personally wanted to see a little more of him in the film…but that’s me.) Sound off in the comments section below!
Doctor Strange opens today (TODAY I say!) in the US.