What was supposedly going to be the character design for Mantis before it was scrapped off last minute is revealed in a concept art. Debuting in last year's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Ego's (Kurt Russel) companion, the empathic being was the one to reveal Star-Lord's (Chris Pratt) father's true colors. Since then, she has become an adopted member of the cosmic team, officially joining them in the shenanigans before they stumbled upon an unconscious Thor (Chris Hemsworth) at the start of Avengers: Infinity War.
Much like most of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Mantis was among the unfortunate half of the universe, including plants and animals, who were snuffed out of existence following Thanos' deadly snap. Despite this, it's also been confirmed that she will be appearing in next year's Avengers 4, which is currently undergoing reshoots. Not much is known about the plot of the film, but it is believed to follow the surviving heroes' attempts at restoring order in the universe.
Marvel Studios Director of Visual Development & Concept Artist Andy Park took to his official Twitter account to reveal one of his most favorite pieces of concept art that wasn't used in the movie, and it's an early design of Mantis. Park has previously shared a similar concept art for the character (although Mantis was sporting red hair and the image was more detailed than this latest one), but this time, he adds a bit of a backstory regarding the illustration saying that it was actually approved, however, there were some last minute changes due to some "practical FX" issues so it was ultimately scrapped. Check out the image below:
I got called out by @osiristheory to show one of my favorite UNUSED concept art pieces... hmm, tough one. This was actually the APPROVED design of Mantis for #GuardiansoftheGalaxy Vol.2 but as it happens sometimes it changed during the practical FX stage. So thus, UNUSED :) pic.twitter.com/2aHIPqKUol— Andy Park (@andyparkart) September 15, 2018
One would be curious to know the specific reason why Marvel Studios decided to discard the design last minute and replace it with the one that ended up in the film. But if anything, the final design looks a lot more suitable for the kind of character that director James Gunn introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The original character look exudes a scary vibe which is the exact opposite of what she turns out to be. It's interesting if there was also a last-minute change in the narrative that demanded the switch aside from the VFX issues that Park cited. Rumor has it that she was supposed to be Peter Quill's half-sister, although Gunn debunked the idea.
It's difficult to gauge whether or not Mantis will play a bigger part in the MCU moving forward. Up until this point, she remains to be a supporting character and it's unclear if there's anything for her beyond that. She has one of the most interesting power sets in the franchise and if her ability to hold off Thanos in Infinity War was any indication, it's safe to assume that she's more powerful than what she looks like. Sadly, with the firing of Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which was supposed to pick up after the events of the twin Avengers sequels, is now on indefinite hold. Apparently, this might even change the character arcs for the team in Avengers 4 making the future of the whole cosmic team bleak.
Source: Andy Park/Twitter
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
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