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There are dozens upon dozens of concept art and costume designs that go unused in any given blockbuster film, and the same may be doubly true for a comic book movies. These films go through tons of ideas before finally settling on just the right one, and the unused designs either eventually finding their way to an Art of book or the internet. Doctor Strange was no different, and some concept art for the blockbuster has recently surfaced showing an unused design for a Zealot that looks almost suspiciously like the Marvel character Death.
Posted on Imgur, this photo features unused concept art from Doctor Strange. The image has been confirmed (via ComicBookMovie) to be a Zealot, one of Kaecilius' followers who turned toward dark magic and swore into the service of Dormammu. In the film, they looked more similar to Kaecilius, sporting heavy makeup around the eyes and wearing trendy robes. This design is much more ethereal -- maybe even fanatical -- and evokes the image of the grim reaper. Considering director Scott Derrickson's background in horror, this seems like it would fit right in with his line of work. The design doesn't really gel with Kaecilius though, so that may have played a part in the decision to scrap it.
Marvel diehards will notice that this design has more than a passing resemblance to the character of Mistress Death. Death is, well, death. She's the physical embodiment of the concept of death, and though she has taken many forms --including looking like a normal human -- she usually is portrayed as a robed woman with a skull-like face. The above design looks like it could easily pass for Death- so if the MCU ever wanted to bring the character in, they already have a pretty good design for her.
Death is a notable character for pretty much one reason, and it's Thanos-level important. Thanos has the hots for Death, and he's wiped out entire civilizations just to impress her. But no matter how many people he slaughters in her name, she always turns away from him. This is part of what leads him to seek out the Infinity Gems (Stones in the MCU) and reunite them in the Infinity Gauntlet. He literally wipes out half of all life in the universe just so that Death will love him. It's a plan that doesn't end up working very well for him, but Death has an important role none the less.
It's unknown if Marvel will include this admittingly wacky concept in Avengers: Infinity War, but Doctor Strange really opened the door for all manner of strange concepts to happen. If magic, evil giant heads can exist, then why can't a character who also happens to be death exist too? We'll find out more the closer we get to Avengers: Infinity War, which is scheduled to hit theaters on May 4, 2018.