Over the weekend, Doctor Strange returned to New York for filming, and while we’ve already seen Benedict Cumberbatch’s highly memetic Stephen Strange running around, new pictures have emerged giving us our first look at Mads Mikkelsen’s unknown character... and we only have more questions about his role after seeing them.
Yes, while the pictures of Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor had us tittering at the goofy running or Strange’s trademark “magic hands” poses, the shots of Mikkelsen’s character that have emerged from the final days of Doctor Strange’s filming have us puzzled as to who he’s playing.
When Marvel first unveiled Cumberbatch’s costume for the movie, they also confirmed that Mikkelsen would be playing the main villain, a “sorcerer who breaks off into his own sect” from the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who teaches Strange. It looks like his followers will be the red-robed people seen running alongside—presumably chasing—Strange and Mordo in this weekend’s set pictures.
But what the hell is going on with their eyes? Is it some sort of possession? Dark magic gone wrong? Here’s an up-close look at Mikkelsen’s eye makeup:
From a distance it looks like a cosmetics job gone horribly wrong, but in detail, it looks awesomely weird—the cracked skin’s cross-etched pattern breaks away to reveal pink, blue, and purple-dappled makeup all around the eyes that almost looks like a cosmic nebula or something. That’s the right sort of trippiness for a psychedelic mystic like Doctor Strange.
But that doesn’t exactly reveal to us exactly who Mikkelsen’s character is. Presumably it is a character from the comics, as Marvel have also teased that fans have yet to guess the identity of the character. It seems like long-running Doctor Strange foe Dormammu might be out of the running, unless Mikkelsen and his fellow rogue sorcerers might worship the demonic creature, and that’s what gets them their evil eyes? No one really knows yet, but Mikkelsen looks pretty cool either way. Kinda like Geralt from the Witcher games, but with a desperate need for some eye drops.
Doctor Strange hits theaters November 4th, 2016.