It's pretty clear that Chiwetel Ejiofor's Mordo is going to have a very key part in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- particularly within the Doctor Strange stories. While the character was a mostly-mustache twirling villain when introduced in the comics, he earned a surprising amount of depth in his first live-action outing - going from being the titular hero's friend to potential worst enemy. It's one of the most significant arcs in the movie, which is why director Scott Derrickson felt that it was very important to make it all stick with blockbuster's post-credits sequence.
We've written extensively about the Doctor Strange post-credits scene and what it means for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but earlier this week I had the pleasure of specifically talking with Scott Derrickson about its creation. Doing an interview over the phone, I asked the filmmaker about the sequence, and after noting that it wasn't an idea that was developed until the midst of post-production, he explained why giving Mordo the extra moment wound up being incredibly important for the development of the character. Said Derrickson,
Well, I think it was about the completion of Mordo's arc. The moral frustration and moral anger that he expresses towards the end with Strange was something that developed more and more and became increasingly powerful and increasingly complex during production, and so by the time we finished it, we felt that he had to leave Kamar-Taj. And yet, him just leaving didn't feel like it was a complete enough; it didn't feel like a complete enough arc for him. I think as we did test screenings to the audience, the audience felt like they wanted to have a better understanding of where's he going, so when you see that tag you fill in a big gap and realize, 'Okay, this whole thing drove him mad, and filled him with such an extraordinary kind of fury that he cracked. It really cracked him.
Mordo most definitely did go through some bad experiences in the first Doctor Strange. When we meet him, he is a completely devout follower of The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), and is willing to sacrifice his own life in the name of the greater good. Unfortunately, learning that The Ancient One has been siphoning powers from Dormammu and the Dark Dimension most definitely pisses him off, and when Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) begins to manipulate time, it proves to be the final straw. The post-credits scene most definitely solidifies this, as we not only learn that Mordo has been sticking to the solo path, but that he is now doing his part to rid the world of sorcerers.
As Scott Derrickson mentioned to me, however, the post-credits scene wasn't just about giving Mordo an extra scene either. The writer/director also loved the idea that it allowed him to bring back the character Jonathan Pangborn, as he really enjoyed his time collaborating with Benjamin Bratt - even if it was just for one scene.
Also, Benjamin Bratt had done such an amazing job in the movie. It was written to be a one scene character and he comes up throughout the movie in dialogue, but he had such a presence, it also felt like we've got to give closure to that character or bring him back and not just leave him dangling there. So it all just came together that way.
Sadly, while it seems all but 100 percent guaranteed that we will get to see Chiwetel Ejiofor again in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Benjamin Bratt's time has probably come to an end.