Mads Mikkelsen
Hannibal star, Mikkelsen could join Marvel's Doctor Strange as villain Dormammu Ian Gavan/Getty

Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen is in early talks to star as a villain in Marvel's upcoming movie Doctor Strange, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. According to Variety, while no concrete offer has been made yet, it is expected that one will be very soon to secure the 49-year-old actor's involvement.

The character Mikkelsen would play has not been disclosed, but speculation has suggested that it could be Dormammu, an ancient, mystical being described as "something worse than a demon". An interdimensional entity, Dormammu's powers can be almost anything he wishes – including necromancy, telekinesis, energy projection, teleportation, creating evil spirits and altering his size, – making him a "terrible foe" for hero Doctor Strange.

This conclusion seems logical as Chiwetel Ejiofor has been cast as the other obvious antagonist from the comic books – Strange's long-time rival, Baron Mordo. Tilda Swinton has also joined the project as The Ancient One, the title's mentor and former Sorcerer Supreme.

The Ancient One is male in the comics, but Swinton is reportedly undecided whether she will play the role as such Reuters/Danny Moloshok

Marvel has reportedly been interested in adding Mikkelsen to its cinematic universe for a while now. Around the time that it was casting Thor: The Dark World in 2012, the studio was eyeing him to play bad guy Malekith the Accursed, but its plans were thwarted when he landed the lead role in NBC's Hannibal. The part eventually went to former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston.

If he accepts the seemingly imminent offer, this will mark Mikkelsen's second high-profile gig since NBC cancelled Hannibal earlier this year, after just three seasons, because of low ratings. He is already signed on to star in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story alongside Felicity Jones and Forest Whitaker.

A character that has not been adapted into the MCU before, Doctor Strange tells the story of Dr Stephen Strange, a former neurosurgeon who lost his medical skills following a car crash. Desperate, he seeks out a powerful mystic called The Ancient One, who teaches him how to access his psychic and magical powers in a bid to have him stop evil, disgraced protégé Baron Mordo. It will be a part of Phase 3 in the extensive line-up Marvel has released of the studio's expected titles and is slated for release in November 2016.