Marvel VFX Artist Reveals Scrapped Deathlok Design

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even a thing, visual effects artist Constantine Sekeris was apparently tasked with designing a live-action look for Deathlok, the cybernetic Marvel antihero. The character, who eventually showed up on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, had his own solo film in development starting in the 1990s, and it didn't completely die until 2004 or later. Paramount had optioned the movie in 2001, and Lee Tamahori (Die Another Day) and later Paul McGuigan (Luke Cage) were in line to direct, with McGuigan saying years later that he liked the script, and wanted Robert Downey, Jr. for the role of Deathlok, but that Marvel Studios had intervened to call the project off.

Sekeris drew some designs up for EdgeFX in 2002, but the project didn't appear to make much of an impression on him, as he said that it was basically just "mentioned." He said that he was inspired by Mad Max, in part because he wasn't given much direction and had to figure out an engaging design for the character on his own.

You can see his post below.

There have been a few different takes on Deathlok, generally connected by the idea that it's a dead person being brought back to life and given super powers by cybernetic technology. J. August Richards played the character on Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, based on Michael Collins, an African-American family man. That's the most popular version of the character, but since the name is shared by a number of different characters, it would not have been shocking, especially in 2002, to have the movie's version be a white man.

Richards's take on the character has not appeared onscreen for years, and the degree to which Agents of SHIELD remains MCU canon is debated. Still, the actor has said as recently as 2019 that he wants a shot at playing a more fleshed-out version of Deathlok on the big screen. Given that Anson Mount's Black Bolt showed up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and far fewer people appreciated Marvel's Inhumans than did Agents of SHIELD, never say never.

If you want to see the character in live action, you can catch Marvel's Agents of SHIELD on Disney+. He's also in Hulk and the Agents of SMASH if that's more your speed.