How Doctor Strange 2 Resolves the First Movie's Post-Credits Cliffhanger (Theory)

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Doctor Strange, Wanda, Mordo

Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange is one of the most important players in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Phase 4 expands into 2022. Having first played the master magician in the 2016 solo movie Doctor Strange, the hero had supporting roles in four other live-action films before this year's solo sequel - Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Alongside Cumberbatch's hero in the original solo film were Rachel McAdams' Christine Palmer and Benedict Wong's Wong, both of whom will be back this time around. Wong even got promoted to Sorcerer Supreme. Also along for the ride is Chiwetel Ejiofor's Karl Mordo, although this movie has only shown the Master Mordo Variant that Strange will fight.

While Doctor Strange 2 will at least feature a Variant of Mordo, there's still the MCU's Mordo out there after the end of the first Doctor Strange film. On top of that, there's a major unresolved plot thread from that film's second post-credits scene that could have some major ramifications if revisited.

Karl Mordo's Sorcerer Purge

Baron Mordo 1
Marvel Studios

In the second post-credits scene from 2016's Doctor Strange, Chiwetel Ejiofor's Karl Mordo found Benjamin Bratt's Jonathan Pangborn and took Pangborn's power from his body. Mordo concluded the scene by telling Pangborn that he was doing this since the world had "too many sorcerers."

Doctor Strange post-credits scene
Marvel Studios

Fans have yet to see the original version of Mordo in any of the promotional material for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Even Ejiofor's Master Mordo has only seen a few seconds of screen time, leaving the original Mordo's location and intentions still unclear.

Where Does the Mordo Thread Go?

Baron Mordo in Doctor Strange
Marvel Studios

After leaving Doctor Strange and Wong in the streets of Hong Kong, Mordo made it clear that he was leaving the sorcerers at Kamar-Taj in favor of his own morally suspect mission to eliminate magic-wielders across the world. However, since that post-credits scene at the end of 2016, there have been no signs pointing to where this cliffhanger moment will lead in the future.

With multiple variants of Doctor Strange, Wong, Wanda Maximoff, and potentially others confirmed for Doctor Strange 2, there's a real chance that more than one Mordo will make an impact on the plot. Should the original version of Mordo return alongside his Variant at some point in the plot, Strange and his cohorts will need to keep their guard up with the villain on a mission that is dangerous for the MCU's sorcerers.

Tying back to the mystery about Mordo is another major question - who will the main villain actually be in Doctor Strange 2?

Looking at that mystery, there is a real chance that Ejiofor's Mordo could find himself in that primary antagonist role, particularly with fans having seen Strange already fighting his villainous Variant in the Illuminati's headquarters. And with the Multiverse set to unravel, leading to the MCU needing its masters of magic to keep the world from falling into chaos, Mordo taking out those magic users could be just what forces Strange to find the root of the problem.

Even though fans know to expect Mordo back in at least one form, Marvel will keep the ultimate reveals about the original Mordo a secret until the film debuts in a few weeks. Knowing that this powerful adversary is somewhere out in the world taking out sorcerers should be a major concern for everybody involved with this new story.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will debut in theaters on May 6. Do you think the original Baron Mordo will show up in the sequel? Let us know on Twitter at @MCU_Direct, @TheDirect, and @RichardNebens!

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.