The sequel to 2016's Doctor Strange was originally intended to be directed by horror aficionado Scott Derrickson, who helmed the first film and originally planned on taking the sequel in an entirely different direction than Sam Raimi did when he took over.
Past reports stated that Derrickson desired Nightmare to be the villain instead of Wanda Maximoff, who ended up being the main antagonist in the sequel. When Raimi and head writer Michael Waldron took over, Waldron stated in an interview that they needed a "multiversal adversary," which inspired them to choose Wanda.
The writer also stated that there was a version he saw at one point where Wanda would "turn bad at the end," but he personally didn't agree with that decision.
There was even some early concept art released from Derrickson's version of the film that showcased what Nightmare would have looked like, as well as one way he would have interacted with Strange in a face-off.
New concept art has recently been revealed, giving more insight into what some of the earlier versions of Doctor Strange 2 would have originally looked like.
Wanda's Original Role in Doctor Strange Sequel
Newly released concept art from an early version of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was revealed by ArtStation.
In the images, Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff is notably not the film's main antagonist but is actually aiding Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange.
In one piece of art, Wanda can be seen standing behind Benedict Wong's Wong as Doctor Strange is examining a dead variant of himself in the sand.
When zoomed in, it is clear that Wanda is not hostile toward Doctor Strange, but appears to be on the lookout for any incoming dangers.
The description for the concept art states that this scene would have taken place in the Incursion Universe and that the heroes would have been in a desert surrounded by dead variants of Doctor Strange.
ArtStation also released a batch of concept art photos of what Zombie Strange could have looked like.
The first photo looks fairly similar to how a zombie in The Walking Dead would look, with pieces of skin gone and Strange's entire nose missing.
Another piece showcases Strange with little more than his skull still present and appearing a little more graphic than the previous idea.
Another image makes Zombie Strange look more human, but covered in blood and still clearly not dead, but also not alive.
The final piece of concept art showcases Strange as being almost completely rotted away, with many of his bones present and extremely little hair left.
Finding a Place for the Scarlet Witch
At the end of the day, there were many changes made to the Doctor Strange sequel when it left Scott Derrickson's hands and was picked up by Sam Raimi and Michael Waldron, but how Wanda was handled arguably changed the film the most.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness probably utilized Wanda in a bigger way than Derrickson's version would have, but due to the way the film ended, it could have marked the end for the character.
Many fans expressed their disappointment with how quickly Wanda turned on the people closest to her. It seems as though Derrickson's version would have handled her heel turn in a more drawn-out manner, where different events and circumstances would have had her character change throughout the course of the movie.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+.