Benedict Cumberbatch's Secret Second Role in DOCTOR STRANGE Revealed
Warning: spoilers for Doctor Strange ahead.
I wasn't aware that Benedict Cumberbatch played multiple roles in Doctor Strange, but IGN has a keener eye than I do. They noticed that the final credits didn't contain an actor who portrayed Dormammu, the tyrant from the Dark Dimension who is defeated by Strange in the terrific final act of the film. So they asked director Scott Derrickson about it, and the filmmaker revealed that it was indeed Cumberbatch who played the role — at least in part:
"The voice was a British actor whose name I don't know, and Benedict – Benedict did the facial capture for it."
Derrickson said that Cumberbatch brought up the idea of playing the villain while they were shooting.
"The more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. Because no one understood Dormammu better than Benedict did. I also wrote that role to be a kind of ultra-inflated version of Strange. He is an ego run amok; he is this cosmic conqueror where everything, where literally everything in the multi-verse is about him.There's something interesting about this confrontation of this little, tiny guy who has this power of time and this monstrous conqueror who is trapped by a clever gambit. There's something about that worked well, and I didn't think [there was] anybody [better] to interact with Benedict than he, himself."
There's a cool duality there that fits in very well with the themes and characters of this movie, and Cumberbatch clearly had experience in the motion capture department from his work as Smaug in The Hobbit trilogy, so it wasn't just a decision made on a lark. In fact, this isn't the first time Cumberbatch has suited up for multiple parts in the same film. In the second two Hobbit movies, he did motion capture work for both Smaug and The Necromancer (who was actually Sauron posing as a dark sorcerer).
Hat tip to ScreenCrush for bringing BC's multiple Doctor Strange roles to our attention.