A fan artist creates a compelling version of Voldemort as played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise became a cultural phenomenon in the 1990s, starting with the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1997 before being adapted to film in the early 2000s. With a new series announced by Warner Bros. Discovery, fans are in for a whole new cast, crew, and additions to the Wizarding World. According to a recent Instagram post, many fans are already casting the franchise’s lead villain Lord Voldemort, and think Marvel actor Benedict Cumberbatch would be a perfect fit.
The post comes from the Instagram user and artist César Castillo Marquez. The post shows his fan-created image of Benedict Cumberbatch as Voldemort, followed by a clip of the artist layering over the original photo of Benedict Cumberbatch with his reconstructed version.
The rendering transforms Benedict Cumberbatch’s eyes to a blood red, with menacing dark circles underneath at the lids and an eerily hairless, snake-like face with slits at the nose, icy purple lips, and a blueish-green tint. The image portrays Voldemort from the chest up, and a dark teal-black-shaded background gives an ominous air to the already intimidating depiction of the character.
Benedict Cumberbatch has an extensive background in both stage and screen acting. After portraying Stephen Hawking in the television film Hawking, Cumberbatch went on to star as the world’s greatest detective Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock, and appeared in films like Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, and voiced both Sauron and the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit films. He may best be known for joining the MCU as Doctor Strange beginning with 2016’s Doctor Strange and most recently in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
From an aesthetic perspective, Benedict Cumberbatch as Voldemort certainly works. He bares a strong resemblance to Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes, who contrary to popular belief first portrayed the character in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
In terms of personality, Ralph Fiennes’ gravitas and delivery, especially his internet-famous delivery of the death-spell “Avada Kedavra” will be hard to top for subsequent portrayals of The Lord of Darkness. Still, Benedict Cumberbatch could be a worthy predecessor, possessing a level of charm, guile, and refinement that could lend itself to playing a character like Voldemort. Voldemort’s corrupting evil influence is powered by heightened levels of persuasive abilities, with the character frequently attempting to lure Harry Potter and others over to the dark side.
Voldemort is made out to be a prodigiously intelligent wizard if somewhat full of himself, a character trait Benedict Cumberbatch should have no problem portraying as exemplified by his portrayal of Doctor Strange’s often-arrogant protagonist Stephen Strange. Although a successful doctor, wizard, and Avenger, Strange has shown that at times his hubris has led him into making poor decisions.
Similarly, it is Voldemort’s hubris and belief that he is the strongest wizard in the world that makes him blind to his own shortcomings. Although he believes he has discovered immortality through the use of his Horcruxes, they prove to be part of his undoing. Many like Marquez could see Benedict Cumberbatch slipping seamlessly into the part, and the image alone is a strong argument for his suitability for the role.