Unused concept art for Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) characters has revealed chilling and intense variations of beloved characters. Characters such as Arnim Zola, Deadpool, Ultron, MODOK, Malekith, Valkyrie, Red Skull, Doctor Strange, Proxima Midnight, and Gorr have all had terrifying alternate designs that showcase the creativity of the artists involved. While these designs may not have made it to the big screen, they remind fans of the possibilities and creativity that goes into character development.
MCU has Become One of The Biggest Franchises
Since its inception in 2008, the MCU has become one of the biggest franchises in entertainment. With each film introducing new characters, the studio goes through plenty of concept art. While not all of it can be incorporated into the final version of a character, artists often share their designs with fans. Sometimes, these unused designs can be even more well-received than the final version.
Arnim Zola, a key character in the MCU, was first introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger. His final design, appearing on a screen with a cryptic face, is already menacing. However, concept artist Josh Nizzi’s version takes Zola to a whole new level by putting his face on an actual robot body. The concept of a robotic Zola capable of movement is terrifying.
Deadpool, known for his humor and sarcasm, is one of Marvel’s most unique heroes. StudioADI’s unused concept art for Deadpool in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes the character to a new level of terrifying. Wade Wilson’s scar-littered, mutated face is even more grotesque in these designs.
Ultron, created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner for peacekeeping purposes, had a final design that wasn’t particularly intimidating. But concept artist Josh Nizzi’s unused design featuring six arms and a menacing smile would have made Ultron physically more menacing.
MODOK’s appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was met with mixed reception. The final design of the character leaned towards comedy, but concept artist Aleksi Briclot’s unused design, known as “Modokzilla,” retains the comedic energy while still being terrifying.
Malekith, the villain in Thor: The Dark World, is often regarded as one of the most underwhelming and underutilized villains in the franchise. Andy Park’s unused concept art for Malekith in 2015 is much more intimidating than the final version, with a full-face mask that adds mystery and intensity.
Valkyrie, the Asgardian warrior, had an unused design that would have struck fear into her enemies. Aleksi Briclot’s concept art featured a blue mask and skull armor, reflecting her time as a bounty hunter on Sakaar.
The Red Skull’s appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger was already disturbing, but Ian Joyner’s unused concept of a disintegrated Red Skull is even more nightmarish.
Finally, Doctor Strange’s Astral Projection, where the individual’s soul exists outside of their body, had unused concept art that explored different dimensions. These designs showcased the visually creative aspects of the Doctor Strange movies.
Overall, the unused concept art for MCU characters offers a glimpse into the creative possibilities that go into character development. While not all designs make it to the big screen, they remind us of the depth and creativity involved in bringing these beloved characters to life.