This week, Doctor Strange will make his big screen debut in North America, and the movie has already written a prescription for success at the international box office, with $86 million this weekend. Clearly, there’s an excellent chance that Marvel’s master of the mystic arts will be getting a sequel. If that happens, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson already has a villain in mind.
While speaking with IGN, Derrickson said “I really like the character of Nightmare and the concept that the Nightmare Realm is a dimension…I think that’s in the introductory episode of Doctor Strange, and I always loved that.” Derrickson also offered a brief explanation as to why Nightmare wasn’t in the first movie: “We decided not to do that because that’s a bit of a complex idea to try to introduce everything we do introduce and introduce the idea of nightmares themselves as being a dimension. I hope somewhere down the line we do get to explore that, because I think that’s a super cool concept.”
We think that Mads Mikkelsen could have been a great Nightmare, if he wasn’t already playing Kaecilius in the first Doctor Strange film. The dread Dormammu is widely regarded as Strange’s ultimate foe, but Nightmare is right up there with him, and Derrickson was correct about Nightmare’s introduction in the very first Doctor Strange story back in in 1963’s Strange Tales #110, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. However, Nightmare is the undisputed ruler of the Dream Dimension, not the “nightmare realm,” as Derrickson put it. The Dream Dimension is more important than Nightmare himself, as human minds travel to that realm while sleeping. It’s Nightmare who twists those dreams to suit his own ends and to feed on the collective fear of all dreaming beings. Of course, if Nightmare makes it to the big screen, then it would be a great idea to also introduce Dreamstalker, his badass demonic horse.
For casual fans, the closest analogy for Nightmare is that he’s essentially the Freddy Krueger of the Marvel Universe…on a much larger scale, and he doesn’t waste time simply killing teens for his amusement. Nightmare has used his powers to manipulate events in the waking world, and he even brought about one of the Hulk‘s most violent rampages when he caused Bruce Banner’s consciousness to retreat into his own mind. Nightmare has also gone up against Spider-Man, Captain America, Ghost Rider, and other Marvel heroes; which could add to his value in the MCU if he isn’t simply killed off in his first appearance. That said, death hasn’t stopped Nightmare from returning before, so why should it be any different on the big screen?
There’s also the possibility that Nightmare could be used to eventually introduce Marvel’s other Fear Lords, like the Dweller-in-Darkness and D’Spayre, or even Shuma-Gorath, the Lovecraft-inspired Doctor Strange adversary who is more famous for appearing in the Marvel vs. Capcom games than anything he did in the comics! Assuming that Doctor Strange 2 becomes a reality, Nightmare would be more than a worthy foe for the good doctor’s next big screen adventure.
Do you want to see Nightmare as the villain of Doctor Strange 2? Let us know in the comment section below!