By Stephen Ippolito | July 7th, 2020
In February, when news broke that Sam Raimi was in talks to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, one of my first reactions was that Bruce Campbell has to now be in this movie. Campbell and Raimi have collaborated frequently over the years. Since they attended High School together in 1975, they have worked on multiple films together, including the Evil Dead trilogy. In all three of the Spider-Man movies that Raimi directed, Campbell had a cameo appearance in each one playing a different character.
While it’s not known if he will be in the movie, I’ve already gone ahead and picked someone he should play. That someone is Mephisto, who, along with Dormammu, is one of the Hell Lords in the Marvel Universe.
Like Dormammu, he rules over a realm within the Multiverse that he calls “Hell” or “Hades.” Mephisto’s power comes from the souls he collects. To get a soul, he makes deals with people who need help or are seeking a better life. Usually, the deal is a trick or lie and doesn’t turn out the way they hoped. For example, Johnny Blaze, the first Ghost Rider in Marvel Comics who Mephisto created, made a deal with him to cure his father’s cancer. While his father’s cancer was cured, he would die in a stunt riding accident shortly after. This is how a lot of his deals end up. The more deals he makes, the more powerful he gets.
So why could I see Campbell as Mephisto? Number one, Campbell has a smile that I’ve always found sinister. Because of this, when thinking about who he could play, Mephisto is the first to always pop up in my mind.
Casting Campbell would also go into how Marvel Studios recently has been changing character’s depictions from their Comic Book source. Korg, M’Baku, and even to some extent Thor have recently been portrayed differently from their Comic Book counterparts. So Mephisto could go through a little change to, and that change is comedy. When appearing in Raimi’s films, Campbell’s roles has been more on the comedic side.
Campbell would do an excellent job of portraying how Mephisto makes shady deals with his victims. This would be where the comedy comes in. He would be sarcastic with a mix of dark humor. His sinister smile would be perfectly utilized in these situations.
Unlike his roles in Spider-Man, I wouldn’t make it a cameo appearance. I also wouldn’t make him the main villain, either. It would be more in between and could lead to more appearances in the MCU. Back in May, there was a rumor going around that Marvel Studios was working on bringing Ghost Rider into the MCU. Perhaps this could be teased in the film.
As for his appearance, I hope that the Studio does not take the approach it did with Dormammu in Doctor Strange. In the film, he was depicted as a giant energy being and not a humanoid with a flaming head, like in the comics. When we first meet Mephisto, I think it would be cool if he’s in a human form (pretty much just Bruce Campbell). Perhaps he’s trying to trick the Sorcerer Supreme. But after, he transforms into his devil-like appearance. Of course, Campbell could still provide the voice and they could still make his facial appearance the same as his.
Like I said earlier, it is not known if Campbell will even be in the film. In a recent interview, Campbell did seem to have a lot of insight on the project. One of the things he said was that he didn’t expect filming to begin until 2021. As to why he thinks this, he could have just been using simple logic because the film comes out in March 2022. Or it could be that is when he’s been told to expect to film his role. Until more is announced, will just have to wait.