Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron recently revealed Nightmare was set to be the film’s villain before it became a multiverse movie.
Before it entered production, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness saw a new writer and director take the reins to lead it through development. Originally, the film was set to welcome back the first Doctor Strange film’s director, Scott Derrickson, alongside writer Jade Bartlett. When Derrickson and Bartlett exited the project, Sam Raimi and Michael Waldron were brought on board by Marvel Studios.
Waldron recently revealed that early drafts of the script, inherited from the previous team, featured a different villain and overall premise for the Doctor Strange sequel. Ultimately, this was all changed to accommodate the film’s multiverse-centric plot.
Nightmare is a demon in Marvel’s comic continuity, possessing the ability to capture someone’s astral form while they sleep so that he can torment them in his own realm. There are certain similarities between Nightmare’s powers and the concept of dreamwalking, which featured in the final film.
Talking about early versions of the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness script and why revisions were made in a recent interview with Den of Geek, Michael Waldron touched on Nightmare and the decision to replace the villain:
“There was different stuff. I think it’s been reported that once upon a time, there was some talk of Nightmare and stuff like that. But when I came on board, it was a multiverse story. And so it was always about trying to figure out who that multiversal adversary was going to be.”
While Nightmare would surely have made a terrifying adversary for Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, removing the villain in order to focus on a more multiversal plot ultimately allowed Marvel to further develop Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch. Seeing the hero take a villainous turn was an unexpected and powerful move, one that likely resonated with audiences more emotionally than a brand new demonic villain would have done.
Here is the synopsis for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
The MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.
Directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Michael Waldron, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams, and Patrick Stewart.
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Source: Den of Geek