Marvel Studios is arguably the biggest name in blockbuster filmmaking right now, as the studio’s shared universe initiative and engaging superhero stories have resonated with audiences for the better part of a decade now. While Marvel’s movies have received acclaim from both critics and audiences alike for their likable and fully-developed heroes, a critics that keeps popping up again and again is that the studio’s villains just haven’t been up to snuff.
One of the main reoccurring issues with villains in the MCU is that they often feel like doppelgangers of the heroes they are fighting. For example, films such as the first Iron Man and Ant-Man offer villains who have almost identical skill sets as the protagonist, and as such, these characters just aren’t as memorable as they could be. As it turns out, having villains who mirror the lead has been a deliberate move up until now on Marvel’s part, and as Marvel President Kevin Feige tells Screen Rant, the villains are going to start to get more original from here on out:
“Clearly we will get to that [non-doppelganger match ups]… You want to have characters that inhabit the same world when introducing a new world, a new mythology for lack of a better term. You want to explore that as much as you can.”
Having villains who resemble the hero is a trope that has been used in many superhero films and not all of them Marvel’s. For instance, the very first DC Extended Universe movie, Man of Steel, pitted Superman against fellow Kryptonian General Zod, who had an identical array of powers and abilities.
Although Marvel is committed to delivering villains who aren’t doppelgangers in the next phase of the MCU — Thanos is certainly much more than a mere reflection of any member of the Avengers — they will be going the doppelganger route with Doctor Strange. But as Feige explains, the choice of using Kaecilus (played by Mads Mikkelsen), a former Master of the Mystic Arts who has similar abilities as Stephen Strange, was deliberate and in service of the story:
“Kaecilius doesn’t know Strange from a hole in the wall. He predates him. But when you’re teaching an audience about sorcerers and that reality and you’re going to talk about the past anyway and you’re going to get into their history anyway, much better to tie-in your bad guy with that instead of laying all this groundwork of parallel dimensions and sorcery and say, by the way, a meteor hit on the other side of the world, it went under the water, and this evil thing developed. What does that have to do with magic? Nothing… That’s not the way we’ve developed them up to this point.”
Well, we would certainly rather see Benedict Cumberbatch do battle with an evil sorcerer played by Mads Mikkelsen than some evil monster created by a meteor. We’ll see if Mikkelsen can rise above the limitations of the doppelganger trope and make Kaecilius a villain to remember when Doctor Strange hits theaters on November 4th.
(Source: Screen Rant)