While fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wait to see if Marvel Studios really won't be following up the mystical adventures of Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) with a sequel, the first movie's co-writer, C. Robert Cargill, has revealed that he and director Scott Derrickson do have a villain in mind for it.
"Nightmare will be the villain," he said in a Q&A at a screening of the film recently in Texas, reigniting hope that we'll see how Strange continues his journey in the wake of Thanos' quest for the Infinity Stones and after Avengers 4 in 2019. Nightmare is of course, the demonic ruler of the Dream Dimension in the comics and someone Derrickson has clamored for in the past.
However, Cargill admitted that another villain, or anti-hero according to one's perspective, established from the first movie, Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) won't be too far behind because of the studio's long-term plans.
"Marvel movies work in threes. They also work outside of their threes. Some of the better Marvel films have more than one villain in them," he said. "Me and Scott have not laid the groundwork for it but what I can say is that I have a feeling that whatever Nightmare is involved with, Baron Mordo, being somebody who considers himself the defender of natural law will have something to do with it."
In 2016's Doctor Strange, Mordo was an ally of Strange, but after the Sorcerer Supreme used the Time Stone to fight off Kaecilius and Dormammu, Mordo lost faith in his Kamar-Taj brethren and labelled them as irresponsible wielders of magic. He then began a murderous crusade to kill off these violators, making it clear that the likes of Strange and Wong were set firmly in his sight. However, Cargill added that Mordo was a character the MCU wanted longevity with, a la Tom Hiddleston's Loki.
"For those of you who have ever read the comics, you know that Baron Mordo has a very particular arc, and that's something we discussed with Chiwetel while working on the first movie. And part of the reason Chiwetel wanted to play Mordo was because he has a definitive ending as a character and it's such a fascinating ending," he continued. "And I do know that whether we're attached or not, that Marvel plans on working towards that ending and fully realizing Mordo as more than just a cardboard cutout villain, but actually taking him to kind of Loki levels of awesomeness. That's the goal with him."
Doctor Strange will next be seen in Avengers: Infinity War. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Tom Hiddleston and Josh Brolin, among others. It hits U.S. theaters on April 27.