Whoa, now this is certainly some strange news …

MASSIVE SPOILERS for Doctor Strange ahead!

As most people know by now, the main conflict in Doctor Strange, which hits theaters next week but is already out in the UK, deals with the title character’s battle against Mads Mikkelsen’s villain Kaecilius. However, during their battle in the film’s final act, Kaecilius summons the Dread Dormammu, who is a major Doctor Strange villain. While that is a pretty big deal on its own, the real kicker is that no actor is listed as playing the role in the closing credits. According to director Scott Derrickson, this is because the character is played, at least in part, by the film’s star, Benedict Cumberbatch!

“The voice was a British actor whose name I don’t know, and Benedict – Benedict did the facial capture for it,” Derrickson revealed to IGN. As many Marvel fans are likely aware, a similar situation occurred when the studio debuted the Mad Titan Thanos at the end of The Avengers, as Josh Brolin had not yet signed on to play the part. However, Derrickson denies having deliberately deferred casting the role.

“No, no, it wasn’t that at all. We knew it was an all CG character, but as we were in production Benedict brought it up as an idea. He said, ‘What would you think about me doing it?’ I said, ‘Let me think about it, you know.’

“The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea,” said Derrickson. “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.”

While it’s certainly surprising to hear that Cumberbatch plays both hero and villain in the the film, it actually makes a lot of sense for the actor to play Dormammu. Cumberbatch has extensive experience playing a CG character thanks to his role as Smaug the Dragon in The Hobbit trilogy and when you consider that Dormammu is another being who wields fire, it feels almost too perfect really.

Doctor Strange hits theaters in North America on November 4.

(Via: IGN)