while projects like Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home dipped their toes into the MCU Multiverse, this year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness took the dive head-first into it. The Multiversal epic saw Benedict Cumberbatch traverse multiple realities as he tried to save the young America Chavez from a vengeful Scarlet Witch.
Sam Raimi’s MCU debut featured a couple of Variants of the titular doctor, including Defender Strange and Sinister Strange. These two, along with a couple of others, showed the potential of what the Multiverse could be, something that will surely be explored further in the MCU’s Phases 5 and 6.
But apparently there could have been even more madness for Marvel’s good doctor in the film.
A Deleted Doctor Strange Variant
Marvel costume concept artist Darrell Warner revealed a deleted Doctor Strange variant that never made it into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Warner posted on his personal Instagram a concept piece showcasing a version of Stephen Strange wearing a red fez and pulling a rabbit out of a hat like a classical magician.
The caption revealed that the piece was titled “Marvellous Melvyn” and was done “very early on in the first lockdown” as apart of the “the Scott Derrickson script that subsequently changed with the arrival of Sam [Raimi]:”
“I am honored to be amongst such hallowed company and have this Watercolor progress through to be one of the Finalists of the ‘Live Action Feature Character’ at this years Concept Art Association Awards | ‘Marvellous Melvyn’ was a piece I completed very early on in the first lockdown following one aspect/alternative ‘Strange’ universe within the Scott Derrickson script that subsequently changed with the arrival of Sam [Raimi} | It is quite rare to be allowed to follow one’s intuition as regards to a given character and I need to extend many thanks to the Costume Designer Graham Churchyard for allowing me to develop and produce this concept | All in all it was an absolute joy to complete and so very pleased it has found some recognition”
This “Marvellous Melvyn” is seemingly the same Strange that was mentioned in the Multiverse of Madness by writer Michael Waldron, where Waldron revealed there was once a moment in the script where the characters met a Variant of Doctor Strange named “Melvin Strange, a street magician who was a version of Strange without any magic:”
“…went to a universe and met a character called Melvin Strange, a street magician who was a version of Strange without any magic.”
The More Strange the Better
While MoM sports plenty of Multiversal madness it would have been cool to see even more variations of Benedict Cumberbatch’s magical Avenger. There were plenty of Strange Variants in the film’s two-hour runtime, but there is really no limit to how many there possibly could have been across the Multiverse.
And seeing this street magician Strange could have been fascinating. He could have been an interesting dichotomy to the Strange that fans know and love. Over the years, Cumberbatch’s hero has proven he is one of the most powerful magical beings in the Marvel Universe, so to see a version of the character who is nothing more than a simple street magician, with no actual powers could have been an interesting moment for not just fans, but for Doctor Strange himself.
Meeting Melvyn could have posed a compelling question for Strange, having him ask, ‘Who is Doctor Strange without his magic?’
But as the concept artist noted above, this character never made it past the transition from director Scott Derrickson to Sam Raimi. So, like many other characters from the film, Melvyn was left on the cutting room floor.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is available to stream on now Disney+.