It’s no surprise that Baron Mordo will be playing a fairly significant role in Doctor Strange. As one of the main rivals faced by the Sorcerer Supreme on a pretty frequent basis, his absence from the film would strike most fans of the comics as a somewhat thoughtless omission. But what is the precise extent of his role in the film’s plot?
A set picture of actors Benedict Cumberbatch (Strange) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Mordo) released earlier this year seems to imply that, at least for the beginning of the film, Stephen Strange and Karl Mordo will work as allies. Given that the picture appears to take place before Strange has recovered from the injury that sets him in motion to become the Sorcerer Supreme, it also appeared as if Mordo would play a major role in the hero’s origin story.
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Ejiofor and found out that the 12 Years a Slave star will indeed play a major role in Strange’s character arc as he learns the ways of sorcery with the help of the Ancient One (portrayed by Tilda Swinton). In fact, Strange appears to be something of a savior to the two as they face an unnamed threat—likely the mysterious villain confirmed to be portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen. According to Ejiofor:
“In terms of [Mordo’s] life with the Ancient One, it’s this long and intense relationship they have that’s just very deep and very connected. I think they both recognize in Strange this certain quality that they feel is going to be very useful in a situation they’re in — just by the nature of who he is, and the way that he operates, and the way his mind works, and the certain skill set and personality that he has. So, when they all meet, they realize that he’s somebody that can be plugged into this very surreal, interesting, sort of fascinating circumstance that they’re all in, and the dangers that they face. And so it becomes a process of assimilating him into their ways of life.”
This certainly makes Mordo sound like one of the good guys, but Ejiofor isn’t willing to make any such claim outright. When asked directly by Entertainment Weekly, he gave the following vague response.
“Oh, he’s a very complex character that, really, I don’t think can be nailed down either way, you know. I guess it’s something to experience, is what I’d say.”
While Ejiofor does not confirm that Mordo will actually become a direct threat to Strange over the course of the film, this quote seems to confirm that fans will at least get a glimpse of his evil side—if not much more. We’ll find out more by the time Doctor Strange hits theaters on November 4, 2016.