A typical criticism of Marvel movies is that the villains are pretty basic. True Believers often find Earth’s Mightiest Heroes facing underdeveloped foes with faceless armies and unclear under-explained motivations. They’re basically just there to get beat up by the super-powered guys and gals with their names in the titles of the films. And while that isn’t always the case, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige hopes that the common gripe doesn’t happen in ‘Doctor Strange.’
In a recent interview with ScreenRant, Feige discussed Mads Mikkelsen’s villainous Kaecilius and the beliefs held by himself and his zealots. First, he revealed that the antagonist was once in the good graces of The Ancient One and the other Masters of the Mystic Arts. However, a divergence in philosophies between the two sides causes him and a faction of similar-minded individuals to defect in favor of doing things their way:
“They believe she is withholding secrets that should not be withheld, and think that maybe it’s not a bad thing if other dimensions absorb our reality. In fact, that could lead to benefits such as immortality. They may also lead to destroying the entire world as we know it. But it is definitely a philosophical break that he has from the rest of the sorcerers that is his primary angst over the course of the movie.”
The executive then continued by comparing the Sorcerer Supreme’s rival to a couple of cinema’s greatest villains to talk about what makes Kaecilius truly dangerous:
“My favorite thing about [Kaecilius] is he is a man of ideas. And that to me what always is compelling about villains, you know. I am much more interested in how they think than in what they even do. My favorite villain being John Doe in ‘Seven’ who does these extraordinary things and is so scary, but – for me – the scariest scene in that movie is the ride into the desert when he articulates why. I got terrified, I felt nauseous watching that movie, because I was like ‘Oh my God, he makes sense.’ Oh my God, how can this be?! You know, and it was that watertight logic of what he says. Same thing with The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’. So I’m not saying our villain is as great as John Doe or Heath Ledger’s Joker [laughs] but he is a man of ideas and to me that’s what makes villains compelling.”
It’s pretty hard to tell from the promotional material at this point, but if Feige turns out to be accurate with his description of the villain, then Scott Derrickson’s Phase Three film may have broken the House of Ideas’ pattern with their antagonists. Although as it stands right now, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence supporting that claim since Mikkelsen’s character does seem to have a faceless army at his disposal like Malekith, Ronan the Accuser, Loki, the Red Skull, and others before him. But either way, I don’t see the general public letting that stop them from seeing the movie later this fall.
What do you think about the villain of ‘Doctor Strange’? Are you intrigued by Kevin Feige’s description of the character? And how do you think Mads Mikkelsen will do in the role? Let us know in the comments below.
‘Doctor Strange’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benedict Wong, and Mads Mikkelsen emerges on this plane on November 4, 2016.