Doctor Strange Villain Dormammu Almost Looked Very Different for Marvel Studios

Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange introduced fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to previously uncharted territories of the world they had known prior. A major part of that was the debut of the interdimensional being known as Dormammu, a larger-than-life entity that has served as a long-time nemesis of the Master of the Mystic Arts. The version we ended up seeing on-screen was actually was just a glimpse of the character, played by the actor behind Doctor Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch. Though we technically only saw the villain's face, the visual development team at Marvel Studios had originally planned for more.

That includes a very human-like take from concept artist Jerad S. Marantz, where Dormammu took on the form of a Frost Giant-like humanoid. It's certainly a different look from what we've seen of the character on-screen. You've can see the radical change of the character below. "Here's an old #dormammu option I did for Doctor Strange back in the day," Marantz says. "Always liked this version. At this point we were playing around with more human options. Really fun show."

Though played by Cumberbatch on-screen via motion capture, the legendary Marvel baddie was nearly voiced by horror icon Tony Todd. In fact, there was once a time Todd even went in to record a few lines.

"I have to tell you about one recent disappointment. I almost did 'Doctor Strange.' I went in to do a session to play Dormammu. Benedict [Cumberbatch] had already recorded it but the producers wanted another voice just as an alternative," Todd said in an interview long after Strange hit theaters. "We did a six-hour session then two weeks before the movie came out they let me know that they went back to the original choice."

Doctor Strange is now streaming on Disney+.


Upcoming movies from Marvel Studios — and their release dates as of now — include The Eternals on November 6, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022.