Previously unseen Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness storyboards detail Karl Mordo’s ugly exit in a scene ultimately deleted from the film.
New Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness production artwork reveals the original grisly fate of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Karl Mordo.
Artist Jeremy Simser recently posted his storyboards for the sorcerers’ planned exit from the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster on Instagram. The storyboards depict a deleted scene in which the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) conjures up Mordo’s severed head to intimidate Stephen Strange and his allies. Simser added that this scene was still part of the film “until very late in the process,” while also noting that since it didn’t make the final cut, it’s possible that the Mordo of Earth-838 is still alive.
If that’s the case, Karl Mordo is the only member of the Illuminati to survive Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as the Scarlet Witch wiped out the rest of the superhero council for standing in her way. The exact line-up of the Illumanti changed throughout the production, which meant several MCU heroes’ multiversal counterparts earned last-minute reprieve from the hero turned villain’s wrath. This includes the Wasp, who the Scarlet Witch was originally set to squash between her hands like a bug in early drafts of the screenplay.
Doctor Strange 2 Cast and Crew Discuss The Illuminati
Screenwriter Michael Waldron previously explained why the Illuminati massacre had to be so violent, insisting that the graphic nature of the scene established the Scarlet Witch as a credible threat. “[The Illuminati] finally show up and you feel safe for a moment,” he said. “You feel like, okay, there are some adults in the room; they know what’s going on, they’re going to keep us safe… Then they get annihilated. The audience’s safety net drops out from under their feet. Suddenly they’re absolutely terrified. And the Scarlet Witch has never been scarier.”
More recently, actor Xochitl Gomez confirmed that the Illuminati sequence was originally much shorter than what appeared in the finished film. Gomez, who plays America Chavez in the Doctor Strange sequel, described the shadowy council’s scenes relatively brief in the initial shooting script, before growing in size during reshoots. “I was probably one of the only ones that got to see all the Illuminati come in every day, and it was a lot of work for the props team!” she said.
The film’s extensive reshoots also directly impacted Gomez herself, especially after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ opening was changed. According to the actor, Defender Strange was originally supposed to die saving rather than betraying America Chavez, which affected the emotions her character was processing in subsequent scenes.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently streaming on Disney+.