Doctor Strange Astral Zealot Demon Forms Concept Art & Battle
Today sees the release of the Doctor Strange Art of the Movie Book, which is just as psychedelic as the film.
The book reveals at one time that Kaecilius's zealots would have looked a lot different in their astral form, more like demons, ghosts or phantasms, with one scene in the hospital even featuring an astral battle against these creatures (in the movie, Strange battled the one human zealot in the astral plane at the hospital). It's also said another scene would have featured these astral demons tearing into reality (we also know that the art is not of Death from Avengers: Infinity War, but is just concept art of one of the zealot's astral forms).
"There was an idea that Zealots were caught between dimensions," Concept artist Jerad Marantz said. "So I was trying to design how they were fractured between two spaces: The negative space represents parts of them that were elsewhere--say, the Dark Dimension--while everything that's tangible is currently in front of us. They're in two places at once, sliced in sections, like a series of bands."
It's also learned Marvel thought of Dormammu existing within multiple dimensions.
"When we originally talked about Dormammu, we talked about him possibly being an eleven-dimensional being. So instead of existing in four dimensions, like we do, he exists in many, many more," artist Ryan Meindering says. "We tried to think how that translates into a visual tie-in wit the zealots. One idea was maybe they don't necessarily hold a three-dimensional form. This led us to places in movement where their faces could bend or twist, or there would be a visual paradox that looked like a face--but when you see it from a different angle, it would turn into something radically different."
Director Scott Derrickson and artist Anthony Francisco explain why they decided to stick with the human astral form of the zealots in the movie instead of going the route of the demon-looking concept art.
"We thought about their astral forms being different than their physical forms, but ultimately realized that would be too complicated," Scott Derrickson said. 'We were already dealing with such complex realities and dimensions to give those characters different astral bodies in an alternate dimension was probably going to be confusing. So we decided to keep whatever their normal look was in the real world. Much like Strange, the physical and astral form would be the same."
"The zealots couldn't be demons; they couldn't be straight up monsters," concept artist Anthony Francisco added. "There was still a shred of humanity inside them. So as far as we went with some of those designs, we kept it away from overly demon-like or gross. They were twisted but not in a horrific kind of way. It almost feels scientific."
Artist Jerad Marantz talks about what sounds like a pretty cool scene involving the astral zealots and their ghostlike forms.
"This was an even earlier direction where the zealots were tearing into our reality, and you could see where they were coming from through the path they had taken," Marantz said. "It would only be revealed in their silhouettes and through their trails left behind through their movements.
"The biggest challenge on these early passes of zealots was that so much of their design relied on movement, so creating a 2-D image wasn't enough to get the idea across," Marantz continued. "Finding ways to get intricate details in negative space, and showing how the design would work at all angles with a number of optical illusions--like having portions of the character missing--required not only an illustrations, but also an informative 3-D turntable with almost every design."
Here is the art from the hospital scene that would have featured Doctor Strange battling the astral zealots in their demon/ghost forms (less human looking).
"This keyframe was done early on," concept artist Jackson Sze said. "We were still figuring out what form the zealots would take--whether they were more on the creature side, or more of a spiritual, almost ghostlike or phantasm kind of visual. I went half-and-half, manlike creature with some ghostlike tendrils to represent them."
The Doctor Strange Art of the Movie Book can be purchased through Amazon at a discount.
"Doctor Strange" is directed by Scott Derrickson starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Mads Mikkelsen.
Marvel’s Doctor Strange follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilising a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe.