[This article contains major spoilers for Doctor Strange]

News reports emerged on Wednesday 26 October revealing that Benedict Cumberbatch not only played the eponymous hero in Marvel Studios' latest outing Doctor Strange but also, one of the film's villains too; Dormammu, the evil ruler of the alternate Dark Dimension. Now, the Oscar-nominated actor has opened up about the mysterious role himself, explaining how he came to be involved with the character and why it made sense for him to play both the good guy and the bad guy.

"It was wonderful. It was sort of my idea," he told Cinema Blend. "I went, 'Look, if this is going to work, rather than being a big ghoulish monster, if it's some kind of reflection of him – if it's something that he's giving that's coming back at him in a really horrific way, that would be fun! And I'd be happy to do the voice for it. Any facial capture.'

"And they were like, 'Really?' 'Yeah, okay.' So I did, and it kind of works, because... I don't know, maybe it doesn't work! It's not immediately noticeable, but a lot of the animation is sort of like a mirror reflection, a rippled mirror reflection, of him, of Strange."

While he might have provided the movements for Dormammu in the film's fateful final scene however, Cumberbatch didn't actually voice the villain – an uncredited British actor did – director Scott Derrickson recently explained.

"I liked the idea," the filmmaker continued, talking about when Cumberbatch approached him about bringing the big bad to life. "Because no one understood Dormammu better than Benedict did. I also wrote that role to be a kind of ultra-inflated version of Strange. I didn't think anybody [would be better] to interact with Benedict than he, himself."

Also starring Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton, Doctor Strange can currently be seen in UK cinemas. It will be released in the US on 4 November.

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