It turns out that Benedict Cumberbatch actually had two roles in Marvel’s Doctor Strange.
As well as playing the titular sorcerer, Cumberbatch also secretly starred as the film’s ultimate villain Dormammu.
Director Scott Derrickson revealed the news to IGN:
“We knew [Dormmamu] was an all CG character, but as we were in production Benedict brought it up as an idea, ‘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 went on to justify the decision:
“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 multi-verse 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.”
So Cumberbatch provided the facial motion capture for his character’s worst enemy with an unknown actor voicing the part. Very strange indeed!
The film hits the US on November 4th.