Warning: Spoilers for Doctor Strange are in play. If you haven't seen the film yet, please bookmark this story, and feel free to come back once you're current.
Towards the end of Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch's dimension bending physician / sorcerer faces off against the most powerful being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. Which is funny, because Cumberbatch himself also voiced and motion captured the role of Dormammu, in a way that shows the character as a sort of dark mirror to Stephen Strange. As it stands, you couldn't possibly think of anyone else in the role, but believe it or not someone else almost got the gig. That someone is legendary character actor, and voice of silk and intimidation, Tony Todd.
Tony Todd spilled the beans in an interview with CBR, and when talk of his role as Zoom on The Flash ran dry, the subject of his Strange connection came up very easily. Surprisingly enough, we weren't that far off from him getting the role, as he got pretty far with the gig before the final decisions were made. Tony Todd tells the story thusly:
I almost did Doctor Strange. I went in to do a session to play Dormammu. Benedict [Cumberbatch] had already recorded it but the producers wanted another voice just as an alternative. We did a six-hour session and then two weeks before the movie came out they let me know that they went back to the original choice
Benedict Cumberbatch played the role of Dormammu exceedingly well. After all, he too has a voice of silk and intimidation, and he's used it to great effect before. You don't get to be Smaug in The Hobbit without at least the personality of a dragon hording a mountain of gold. However, if you grew up through the 90's, you know that Tony Todd's voice would have brought an extra dimension of sinister intent that only Todd has ever been capable of.
The man was the damned Candyman, squared off against Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery in The Rock, and probably most famously, he scared some careless teens into believing in the rules of death in Final Destination. That last scene is important, and we've included it below for emphasis. Listen to this clip, and try to think about how it would sound if Benedict Cumberbatch had to deal with this legendary hard case behind Dormammu.
If you haven't seen Doctor Strange yet, don't hold it against the film that they didn't run with Tony Todd's legendary pipes. But if you have seen Doctor Strange, we'd invite you to try and imagine what the film would have been like with this most infamous voice booming against Stephen Strange's machinations. You'll have a chance to do either when the film hits Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD on February 28th.