Dormammu is a difficult villain to get right.
His appearance in Doctor Strange was, it could be said, fairly minimalist – in that it appeared that Marvel was aiming for something as ethereal and inhuman as possible.
As it turns out, this wasn’t the only such design that Marvel considered. The studio tried a variety of different styles and approaches for the enormous otherworldy villain, as concept artist Andy Park has shown on Instagram this week.
Apparently, in one brainstorming session, Park was given just twenty minutes to come up with a brand new design from scratch, just to see what interesting new ideas he could come up with when nothing was off the table.
The result is a little interesting:
While working at Marvel Studios there's been a few times we did a quick blast design session as a group to get some ideas out. "30 minutes GO!" This is my 30 minute Dormammu design in the beginning of the project. #DoctorStrange #dormammu #villian #conceptart #design #film #marvel #marvestudios #instagood #instaart
It’s probably mean to poke fun at this, as it was only ever designed as an off-the-wall super speedy sketch.
It’s also likely hard to come up with a new, original idea out of nowhere, on such a short time limit. And, in fairness, this isn’t a million miles away from what appeared in the final movie, so it’s clear that this was the kind of design Marvel was looking for.
For those who love Dormammu in the comics, though, it’s still just not quite right.
Dormammu is meant to be on fire. It’s kind of his whole deal.
No matter how big of an abstract cloud monster he is in the MCU, it’s disappointing not to just see a big flamey evil dude.
But hey, it’d be mean to blame that on Andy Park if that’s simply not the direction Marvel wanted to go in.
Let’s have a bit of a palette cleanser. Here’s a costume design for Doctor Strange that Park came up with when given a little more time to think about things:
Here's the full image of an early concept design illustration I did for #DoctorStrange These were fun to explore! And no, I didn't use any actor for either of these Dr. Strange paintings. I went for "generic male." Any likeness on either of these is unintentional :) #magic #costume #conceptart #design #illustration #comicbook #film #painting #instagood #instaart #marvel #marvelstudios
Now, that’s awesome! It’s almost a shame this wasn’t used in the movie, although the more traditional Doctor Strange look in the final movie does make sense.
Who knows, maybe this piece of concept art could be incorporated into Marvel comics at some point instead.
As long as it doesn’t bring a new version of Dormammu with it. Some men just want to watch the world burn, and some interdimensional beings just want to burn themselves.