Most Marvel fans have been happy with the way Marvel Studios has adapted elements of Marvel Comics for the movie screen. However, as impressive as the characters, costumes, and locations of Marvel Cinematic Universe are, the finished result isn't always the best version fans could've gotten.
As you will see in the gallery of pictures below, there have been some fantastic designs for the MCU villains that never made it into MCU films. Some of these will make fans genuinely wonder what motivated the filmmakers to choose the designs they ultimately went with - while others will seem like they were abandoned for good reason.
Here are 5 Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains That Almost Looked Very Different.
The Mindless Ones are the traditional arm of Doctor Strange nemesis Dormammu - but in the Doctor Strange movie, they didn't get much (if any) time to shine.
We saw The Mindless Ones at the climax of the movie, when rogue sorcerer Kaecilius and his disciples are given their just desserts for serving Dormammu: being transformed into mindless rock-monster things. As you can see above, however, Marvel did have a different - and much more dynamic - design for the Mindless Ones. We hope it gets used in future Doctor Strange films!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier had a major second act reveal, in which Cap and Black Widow discover the A.I. version of HYDRA scientist Arnim Zola hiding in the bowels of the original S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters.
That version of Zola appeared as a digital "ghost" preserved in various reels of vintage computer databases; however, fans will be disappointed to learn that they could've gotten a more traditional version of Zola in the film - one complete with a full-on robot body, and abdominal display screen for a "face."
...Of course, since the Winter Soldier filmmakers blew up Zola mere minutes after the reveal, it's probably best Marvel didn't fully invest in this character design.
The master of The Mindless Ones was also depicted onscreen much differently than what we saw in the finished version.
In fact, as the story goes, Marvel had something of a struggle finding the balance between versions of Dormammu that were either too scary, or to abstract and fantastical for viewers to relate to.
You can see an example of the latter, above.
James Spader's Ultron has become an icon of the MCU - even if some fans were actually fans of how the villain was depicted in Avengers: Age of Ultron
Speaking of the Avengers sequel title: the comic book storyline it was pulled from actually features a six-armed version of Ultron - and apparently the movie almost did, as well.
Captain America: Civil War mastermind "Zemo" is one of the most nefarious villains in the MCU, and very big departure from from the more arch villains we find in comic book movies.
Of course, Zemo (played by actor Daniel Brühl) was also a very big departure from his comic book counterpart in terms of looks - but as you an see, that almost wasn't the case.
Zemo almost had his trademark purple mask in Civil War, but apparently, coming up with an excuse for a clandestine operator to wear a mask wasn't something the filmmakers could settle on.
For more on what's next from the Marvel Cinematic Universe - visit our Avengers database page, below!