Unused Doctor Strange 2 Art Stirs Up Marvel Fanbase: 'We Were Robbed'

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By Richard Nebens Posted:

MCU fans were worked up into a frenzy over concept art that didn't make it to the final cut of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Almost no Marvel Studios movie dealt with as many behind-the-scenes issues as Doctor Strange 2, starting with the change in directors from Scott Derrickson to Sam Raimi in early 2020. Since the final cut of the film hit theaters in May 2022, fans have found out even more about how the Multiversal sequel changed from the ground up as story details, character arcs, and visual cues were reworked.

Derrickson's movie was meant to be much darker and even scarier than what came through with Raimi, leading to Derrickson leaving the project amicably over what truly came down to creative differences between him and Marvel.

With the Multiverse Saga now expanding its boundaries with new projects, fans are also getting a deeper look into the development entries that already arrived in Phase 4, including new concept art that teases what could have been with Doctor Strange 2.

Concept Art Shows Scrapped Doctor Strange 2 Scenery

Concept artist Thomas du Crest shared a handful of unused pieces of concept art from Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness that showed new takes on the scenery used in the Multiversal sequel.

Two of the images provided a look at a universe based around fractals, teasing some of the destabilization that was shown when Doctor Strange and America Chavez jumped through different universes.

The other three pictures were ideas for what would later become the Incursion world, which was shown at the very end of the movie as Prime Doctor Strange fought Sinister Strange.

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Since those images were released, fans have shared their passionate thoughts about the imagery, largely noting that it looks better than what came through in the final movie.

Multiple Instagram users reacted negatively to the imagery, using words like "tragic" to describe what happened to the movie and saying that "a real multiverse dr strange movie" came in a completely different universe:

moti_sason3388: "What they done to this movie is tragic"

g._inaki: "we were robbed"

gothamvsl: "In another universe we got a real multiverse dr strange movie"

Another user asked why "the more lame concepts" always get chosen for these movies:

andrusdoesstuff.jpg: "Why does it always seem like they choose the more lame concepts for some of these projects"

Another fan explained that the movie felt strange to them due to the backgrounds not meshing well with the practical material while also mentioning the drastic changes in color with each scene:

tikitongaa: "The reason this movie felt off to me is because the backgrounds didn’t quite marry to the practical shots, you kinda watch he movie and subconsciously keep telling urself 'they aren’t really there' maybe it was the color grading aswell, from vibrant multiverse jumps to dull and grey finale it felt a bit too eenie meenie, the story and and writing shouldn’t have suffered as it did in the midst of all that though"

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One Reddit user wished that this kind of concept art didn't go public since "most of the time it's always better," while another called it "exhausting" to see these images and admitted to feeling disappointed:

Doctor_Doom_1962: "I sometimes wish we never see concept art because most of the time it's always better."

Demiguros: "Once again, the concept art from Derrickson's script is better than the final product. This is exhausting. I don't want to see more concept art, I don't need more disappointment."

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In response to the previous comment, another fan shared a lengthy comment, noting that making concept art aspirations is "kind of the job" for visual artists. This user gave Marvel the benefit of the doubt, making it clear that "compromises have to be made" when picking which visual effects to move forward with:

sade1212: "Yeah, I can't help but think 'first time?' whenever people discover concept art usually looks cooler than the final product. Shockingly, painting one awesome idea is more feasible than realising that design in a feature film, for many many reasons. Concept art being aspirational in that way is kind of the job. For virtually any project ever made you can track down amazing concept art that makes you think 'why didn't they use that!?' but the unfortunate reality is compromises have to be made and only so much can ever be done."

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du Crest also noted that Mordo and Doctor Strange are placeholders in some of the images, responding to a fan who asked if this Mordo was the Earth-616 version or Master Mordo from the Illuminati:

Fan: "I'm still interested on how that's Mordo in the concept art working with Strange, and it's not the Illuminati version it's actually him from the MCU main universe."

du Crest: "The characters are more like placeholders at that stage, I wouldn’t read too much into it "

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What Could Have Been in Doctor Strange 2

Marvel fans haven't been afraid to share their thoughts about the VFX work in the MCU's latest movies and TV shows, which continues with this new look at Doctor Strange 2. And with this sequel being the story that was truly set to open up the Multiverse for the first time while also being described as Marvel's first horror movie, expectations were high for just how scary and vast these landscapes could be.

Although many are concerned that Marvel's upcoming output through the rest of the Multiverse Saga will continue to put a strain on VFX artists, there's hope that the MCU can get back to the VFX excellence that was seen in the Infinity Saga. Additionally, with the story being developed more thoroughly due to the delays that have been announced for multiple projects, the MCU team will hopefully have more time and resources to bring something that more fans will celebrate.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+.