One of the biggest challenges that Marvel and director Scott Derrickson had when they were making and developing Doctor Strange, was how they were going to visualize the mystical arts and alternate worlds that The Sorcerer Supreme ventures into on the big screen, especially based on the revolutionary artwork from a majority of the original comic books. Luckily, if there was one thing that the film didn’t have a shortage of, it was great mind-bending visual effects and action sequences, most of which were praised as being the strongest aspects of the film (and have now been nominated for an Oscar no less).
Arguably, one of the most hotly-debated topics amongst fans leaving the film, though, was how it had managed to bring Dormammu, the lord of the Dark Dimension and Stephen Strange’s archnemesis, to life. Throwing out the traditional, humanoid form with a flaming skull, the character’s design in the movie feels much more psychedelic than some fans might have expected; with his face and form having an almost endless quality to it.
It’s already been revealed that there were multiple different designs of Dormammu made for the film as well, Most recently, Marvel concept artist Andy Park shared a piece of artwork that he made of the character for Doctor Strange – one that would have given Dormammu a much different, more royal look than he’s ever been imagined as having before. Check it out for yourself below:
While working at Marvel Studios there's been a few times we did a quick blast design session as a group to get some ideas out. "30 minutes GO!" This is my 30 minute Dormammu design in the beginning of the project. #DoctorStrange #dormammu #villian #conceptart #design #film #marvel #marvestudios #instagood #instaart
This isn’t by any means the first piece of alternate Dormammu concept art that Marvel has released for the film; other illustrated takes on the character were released fairly quickly after the film first hit theaters, but this might just be the most out-of-the-box version that’s been released so far. The design is unique is that it’s a much more traditional version of the character than how Dormammu is usually drawn, giving the character a more humanoid face and form than the flaming skull, covered in black armor version that’s most frequently been included in the comic books. In a strange (no pun intended) way, he almost looks more like a statue than an actual, living thing, and there’s no doubt there would have been some controversy among fans if Marvel had decided to go with this look for the character in Doctor Strange.
Now, Park does note that this version was done more in a brainstorming session than in an actual discussion for the character, drawn apparently in 30 minutes, and likely, not used much after that. But what will be interesting to see is how Dormammu’s design evolves or changes in the future, if he does ever reappear or return in a subsequent Doctor Strange sequel or even in a possible team-up film. Both Derrickson and Marvel have been cagey and vague about Dormammu’s future on the big screen, even though there is a clear desire from fans to see him again, in some form or another. Will he keep the same ethereal, lined design he was seen with in the first film, or will his form change at all? At this point, it seems like anything is possible.
Source: Andy Park