'Doctor Strange': Making Sense of the Post-Credits Scene

Screenwriter Jon Spaihts weighs in on what's going on.
Courtesy of Marvel

[Warning: This story contains spoilers for Doctor Strange.]

It's a chilling statement: There are too many sorcerers.

Doctor Strange's post-credits scene shows Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) on a dark path, tracking down Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt), the former student of The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who has used his power to heal his paralysis. Mordo's visit is terrible news for Pangborn. The fallen sorcerer takes Pangborn's power, leaving him paralyzed and revealing that Mordo has discovered his true purpose — eliminating the other sorcerers of the world and taking their power.

Mordo is a classic Doctor Strange villain, but many in the audience may not have known the man who starts as Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) ally was poised to oppose him. The Doctor Strange creative team decided it would add a layer of complexity to the character to have him start off as an ally of Strange's.

"Mordo had to be a complex, human character. So Dormammu needed another minion to work his will," screenwriter Jon Spaihts tells Heat Vision.  

Enter Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), who would become Dormammu 's instrument in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What's intriguing about Mordo as we see him in the post-credits scene is that like Kaecilius, he's on a quest to do what he thinks is best. But unlike Kaecilius, his idea of what's best is to eliminate any trace of Dormammu in our realm. His whole falling-out with Strange comes over the revelation that The Ancient One has been using power from the Dark Dimension, where Dormammu is master. Strange got on Mordo's bad side by using dangerous magic to manipulate time.

When it comes to a sequel, it's a safe bet that Mordo will continue to amass power in order to go up against Strange. But for Spaihts, the death of The Ancient One poses the most interesting question for Strange's future.

"It is an Earth without its protector," says the screenwriter of the MCU post-Strange. "The aspiring replacement for that protector is green and new and still has a lot to learn and that's a world in peril. I think that could very well be the starting point for the following story."

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