How about that Dormammu, huh?
He’s a fun guy. Hanging out in a dimension beyond the realm of time and space, looking like a big purple CGI face cloud, getting really annoyed by Benedict Cumberbatch after spending five minutes hitting his with sticks.
Sure, he gives off vague vibes of Galactus from Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and yes, he could be more, you know, on fire. He doesn’t exactly match up with his comic book counterpart in any way, shape, or form.
But he’s a pretty classy guy when it all comes down to it, ridding the Earth of "Mad" Mads Mikkelsen before he gets the chance to eat Benedict Wong’s kidneys, reveal the hidden weakness to the Death Star, or make goo-goo-eyes at Hideo Kojima again.
It seems that Dormammu was one of the biggest challenges for director Scott Derrickson—as time has gone by, we’ve seen an increasingly bizarre array of concept art and suggested alternative voice actors and designs.
It’s a shame, then that Dormammu is crammed into the movie’s final five minutes, as if this character was something of an afterthought. Perhaps Derrickson still wasn’t sure whether he’d come up with the right design, and decided to hide Dormamu in the time it takes for the average mid-movie bathroom break, to reduce the number of people who’d see his final design choice.
This week, we’ve received a good look at another batch of Dormammu designs, and it really does seem like the effects team threw everything at the wall to see what stuck.
This time around, Dormammu is a kind of Grim Reaper figure.
Or like a stone statue of Apolalypse.
Or spiky Drax the Destroyer.
Or Groot, if his head exploded.
There are some fun ideas among these scrapped designs, so it’s kind of a shame that we ended up with such a generic weird purple face in the final movie. It does seem like Marvel were looking for a very Guardians of the Galaxy style design, which lends more credence to the theory that the studio is going to increasingly be heading into space now that Superhero movies have been around for a while and we're all tensing for an eventual bubble burst.
Of course, Scott Derrickson probably wouldn’t have had to suffer through all of this if he’d decided to conclude the movie with a satisfying showdown between Doctor Strange and Kaecilius.
Come on, who doesn’t want to see this arrogant Priest-killer taken down a peg?
Also, while we’re at it—that Priest has balls of steel to remain so calm when he’s clearly about to get stabbed.
Maybe he should have been the main villain of the movie instead.