New concept art for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has revealed a battle between the Sorcerer Supreme and the Marvel villain Nightmare was originally planned for the sequel.
It's no secret that the MCU movie went through a few different iterations before it became Doctor Strange 2. The film was originally in the hands of Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who had announced his plans to make the film a horror.
Writer C. Robert Cargill, who was attached at the time with Derrickson, had also expressed interest in bringing Nightmare into the sequel. But after the duo departed the film, citing creative differences, and director Sam Raimi and writer Michael Waldron came on board, many of these elements changed.
It's unclear when Nightmare was cut from the story for Doctor Strange 2, but newly released concept art proves the character was an integral part of the story at some point during development.
Doctor Strange 2 Deleted Nightmare Battle Revealed
New images from storyboard artist Soren Bendt have revealed a look at a mysterious villain facing off against Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
This appears to be another depiction of the Marvel villain Nightmare. The character has appeared in previous concept art for Doctor Strange 2 wearing samurai armor.
The art shows Doctor Strange and Nightmare battling in what appears to be an alternate dimension. This is possibly even a representation of the Nightmare World.
Doctor Strange wields a sword in the storyboards, while Nightmare uses his magic as a powerful weapon.
Further images seem to show Nightmare getting the better of Doctor Strange in the battle as the Sorcerer Supreme can be seen looking panicked as he is thrown down a neverending stairwell.
What Happened to Nightmare in the MCU?
Given the battle shown in this concept art, it seems like Nightmare was once intended to be the major antagonist of Doctor Strange 2. More scrapped concept art showing America Chavez in the hands of a Nightmare-type villain further support the idea the character once had a large role to play.
It's likely this concept art was commissioned early on in development, when Scott Derrickson was still attached to direct. When Raimi and Waldron took the creative reigns it seems Nightmare's involvement was cut in order for Wanda Maximoff to become the villain instead.
Of course, this doesn't mean that Nightmare won't show up in the MCU at some point. Benedict Cumberbatch's character will be on a new adventure with Clea in Doctor Strange 3 and the duo will no doubt need another mystical villain to fight, which Nightmare could definitely fit the bill of.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming now on Disney+.