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Marvel nabs 12 Years a Slave actor for Doctor Strange role

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor has been confirmed to play the role of Baron Mordo in in Marvel's Doctor Strange, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch's titular sorcerer.

The Oscar and Golden Globe nominated leading man of 12 Years a Slave (and veteran of Children of Men, American Gangster and Amistad) is quite a thespian catch for Marvel Entertainment. It also represents a departure from Mordo's comic book incarnation.

While Baron Mordo, a Transylvanian student of the mystical arts, has always been the arch-nemesis of Doctor Strange — the man who killed his master, the Ancient One — and a white man, at least in the comics. But Deadline reports that his character is being changed, perhaps significantly, for the film, saying that he won't "necessarily" be "completely villainous," but rather "an amalgamation of characters culled from Doctor Strange's mythology."

Doctor Strange represents Marvel Entertainment's first deep dive into the magical side of the Marvel Universe, so it's pretty much guaranteed to be trippy. But if nothing else, it seems like the studio is committed to bringing A-list actors in to ground the story in solid performances.

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