Doctor Strange is full of small details. As the newest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it features an endless amount of Marvel Easter Eggs and references. Some are just small nods to fans of the original comics, others are huge hints for what's to come in the MCU, and more are just for fun. And, sometimes, the Easter Eggs thrown in just for fun can be the hardest to spot — like the one big Doctor Strange Easter Egg you might have missed. Are you ready to hear this? Benedict Cumberbatch didn't just play Doctor Strange, he also played the villain.
Spoilers ahead! At the end of Doctor Strange, Strange, as played by Cumberbatch, finally comes face to face with the greater villain of the film: Dormammu, the powerful Dark Dimension being who seduced the main villain Kaecilius to the dark side in the first place. Dormammu appears as a giant face made up of other-worldly particles in the Dark Dimension. He has no body, and appears to be a kind of malleable being beyond our normal, human powers of perception. At first glance (and second, and third), he doesn't look like Cumberbatch at all. In fact, he doesn't really look like a real human face. And yet, according to director Scott Derrickson, Cumberbatch actually provided the motion capture to bring Dormammu to life.
Dormammu was always intended as a CGI character, added into the film in post production. But, one day on set, Cumberbatch floated the idea of playing the villain himself. "We knew it was an all CG character, but as we were in production Benedict brought it up as an idea," Derrickson said in an interview with IGN. Cumberbatch ended up performing facial motion capture for the role, though the character was voiced by an unnamed British actor. "The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea because no one understood Dormammu better than Benedict did," Derrickson added. Derrickson, who was also one of the co-writers of the film, also revealed that Dormammu was intended to be a sort of exaggerated mirror of Doctor Strange's over-inflated ego, making the performance all the more perfect.
The Doctor Strange Easter Egg of Cumberbatch playing both the hero and the villain doesn't really do much to add to the MCU mythology, but it is one of those details that will separate the superfans from the rest.
Images: Walt Disney Studios; Giphy