It shocked audiences when Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff was revealed to be the antagonist of Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The comic book supervillain Nightmare originally planned to make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the Doctor Strange sequel, even though she ended up playing a key role in the plot.
Director Scott Derrickson’s version of the Doctor Strange sequel, which would have introduced Nightmare for the first time to the MCU, has been unveiled by artist Ryan De Silva. Eventually, Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill left the project, so the villain was removed.
Although the former director wished to include the classic Doctor Strange villain in his Multiverse of Madness, it is unclear how long he was considered a possibility; however, Nightmare rumors continued even after Derrickson and Cargill quit due to creative differences. Michael Waldron was hired as director alongside Raimi (who directed Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy and The Evil Dead franchise).
As part of the concept art, De Silva shared, he included ancient text and illustrations depicting Nightmare wearing medieval armor and riding a horse. In the second image, the comic book villain is depicted with horns, samurai armor, and a sword, along with what appears to be an early version of the Book of Vishanti, the light counterpart of the Darkhold.
Oliver Carroll’s set designs and concept art show that he planned to appear in at least one scene with the hero of the film. In one scene involving the hero’s deceased sister, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) faces a Nightmare on a frozen lake.
A few early pieces by concept artist Darrell Warner that came from a scrapped flashback where his sister falls into a frozen lake and dies from hypothermia were shared on Instagram earlier this year. Despite being cut from Multiverse of Madness’ final plot, Nightmare is still expected to return in future MCU projects.
Clea, played by Charlize Theron, tells Strange he caused an “incursion” and asks him to join her on a journey to the Dark Dimension in Doctor Strange’s sequel’s post-credit scene. It appears that the third Doctor Strange film will follow them as they attempt to fix this “incursion,”; who knows, maybe Nightmare could return as a villain in the MCU.
A multiverse of Madness follows the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, and introduces Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, whose character also changes dramatically during the production. The Multiverse of Madness is now available on Disney+.
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