Characters often go through transformations between the concept phase and the actual creation of a look. Such was the case for one iconic Doctor Strange character who was originally going to look a bit more like his comic book counterpart. The ultimate evil of Doctor Strange is not Kaecilius, but the interdimensional being Dormammu, who could have looked significantly different had they gone with earlier concepts.
The final version of Dormammu that we saw in Doctor Strange was little more than a giant face. It was imposing to be sure, but it was significantly different from the version of Dormammu that comic fans are familiar with. That version was more humanoid, but he was also surrounded by fire. This image seems to combine both ideas a little more than the final. There's a lot of fiery red used here including what could be actual fire coming from the mouth and eyes. Even the top of the head gives an impression of flame. At the same time, he's still the massive disembodied head that we saw in the final film.
Daily Superhero has posted several images that show a variety of different potential looks for Dormammu. Some are much closer to what we actually got while others are very different. It would seem that the plan was always to make Dormammu a giant head in space as none of the art depicts him in any other way.
Although, as an interdimensional being of immense power, we're guessing Dormammu is probably capable of taking numerous shapes. If the MCU storyline ever requires him to look like he does in the comic books, that can probably still happen.
The final version of Dormammu didn't look quite as creepy as some of the concept art images. It would seem there was no need to make the character look particularly scary, the point was simply to have him be massive and imposing. In that regard, Doctor Strange clearly succeeded. Perhaps it was the decision to have Benedict Cumberbatch himself provide the voice for Dormammu that helped decide what he would look like. The voice they gave him might not have sounded quite right coming from this face. The voice we hear coming out of this mouth is much more vicious and angry.
Do you like the version of Dormammu that we got, or would you have preferred the image above? Let us know what you think in the comments below.