As problematic as upcoming Marvel super-outing Doctor Strange is, it’s hard not to be excited about the fact that the dreamily eccentric Mads Mikkelsen will be one of the movie’s stars. We’ve long known he’d be in it as some kind of villain and we saw him sporting Greyscale–esque eye makeup in the trailer, but one mystery lingered: Who, exactly, would he be playing? Thanks to an obscure and unhyped movie-prequel comic that Marvel just released, we have our answer, and it’s a weird one.
Mikkelsen is apparently playing a gent by the name of Kaecilius. He’s barely been a footnote in Marvel history, up to this point. The character first appeared in a 1965 Doctor Strange story, acting as an underling of classic Strange nemesis Baron Mordo (played onscreen by Chiwetel Ejiofor). In this week’s prequel comic (which is set in the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not the conventional Marvel Comics universe), we see him in a very different role. He’s a “Master of the Mystic Arts” (a title often used for Strange throughout his comics history) who works alongside fellow Masters such as Wong (who will be played by Benedict Wong in the movie). His eyes look fine, but he’s a little prideful and impetuous, so presumably some kind of catastrophe, perhaps self-made, will lead him to the dark side. Oh, Mads. Always playing those charismatic evildoers!