Still from 'Doctor Strange'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Benedict Cumberbatch has become synonymous with the role of Doctor Strange in the lead up to the film's release, however what we didn't know until now is that Cumberbatch actually played a second major role in the film.

Spoilers ahead for Doctor Strange.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Cumberbatch was one of two actors who brought to life the dread Dormammu, Strange's comic book arch-nemesis, and the secret, secondary villain of the film alongside Mads Mikkelsen's Kaecilius. Cumberbatch provided facial motion capture for the villain.

"The voice was a British actor whose name I don't know, and Benedict – Benedict did the facial capture for it," director Scott Derrickson told IGN before confirming that the uncredited role was not designed to allow another actor to join the role later, a la Thanos in Avengers. "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.' 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."

"The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea," Derrickson continued. "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."

Cumberbatch has extensive experience playing motion capture roles, having portrayed the dragon Smaug in Peter Jackson's Hobbit films. However, this is the first time in a Marvel movie that the same actor has portrayed both the hero of the film and its villain.

Doctor Strange is in theaters now in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, with a North American release scheduled for November 4.

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