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The strongest piece of criticism that Marvel Studios just can't seem to shake is that they have a string of non-compelling villains. We're 14 films in and the MCU has maybe three memorable villains. Now with Doctor Strange in theaters, does Mads Mikkelsen's Kaecilius buck the villain curse? Not exactly, but Kaecilius has a unique motivation for being a villain, as discussed by Mikkelsen in a recent interview. The dark master of the mystic has a bone to pick with a certain immortal bald woman.
Kaecilius isn't exactly buying what the Ancient One is selling. When asked by Marvel.com why his character in the supernatural blockbuster rejects the teachings of the Ancient One, Mikkelsen's replies that he didn't reject the teachings; he simply wants more of them. Kaecilius is already a master of the mystic arts before the film begins, but he knows that there's more to learn. The Ancient One is the Sorcerer Supreme, and Kaecilius rejects the idea that she's the only one who can be that powerful. So what else is he supposed to do but switch teams and sign with an all powerful evil magical being to get what he wants?
Certain motivations go a little bit deeper than that, but for spoiler reasons we won't address them in detail here. What's important to know is that he's a suitable first challenge for Stephen Strange and he knows how to twist a couple buildings or two.
While Kaecilius doesn't rank too high on the Best Villains List, the role would have been much more forgettable had it not been for Mads Mikkelsen. The Hannibal star elevates the role with some gravitas and humor, making a more memorable villain than Malekith, but not as high as Loki (really, he's somewhere around the Red Skull area). In short, he's not the best, but he's certainly not the worst.
Here's the whole interview with Mads Mikkelsen, where he talks about doing the stunts in the film himself and all the wire work he had to. You can go ahead and check that out below.
You can check on Mads Mikkelsen in Doctor Strange, which is in theaters right now. Alternatively, you can see him later this year in a little movie called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which hits theaters on December 16.