Doctor Strange almost faced a very different villain

Introducing the mystical side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, along with an all new hero to boot, was no easy task for Doctor Strange. But it turns out the film could've looked very, very different.

In an interview with Empire, director Scott Derrickson revealed he originally didn't want to use Dormammu of the dark dimension as the film's big bad. Instead, he had a very different villain in mind for Stephen Strange's introduction to the big screen: Nightmare, the lord of the dream dimension, with the ability to enter people's dreams and trap them there. Introduced in 1963's Strange Tales #110, Nightmare first found the Sorcerer Supreme tasked with helping a man being haunted in his dreams.

"[Marvel President Kevin Feige] made a very cogent case," Derrickson explained regarding the switch. "The trouble with starting with Nightmare is getting across the idea of the Dream Dimension as another dimension. The movie was challenging enough. It's already an exposition-heavy movieā€¦ Dormammu made the most sense. And he is the most present villain in the comics."

The character certainly holds a lot of storytelling potential, and looking to the comics, Nightmare has been used as a conduit for interesting character studies that force Doctor Strange to face some of his own inner demons. As a big-screen villain, he could make for an interesting storyline, but apparently Feige worried it might be a bit too much for audiences to grasp just after getting their first taste of the magical corners of the MCU.

In many Nightmare stories, Doctor Strange finds himself trapped in the dream dimension and tasked with figuring out what's reality and what's a dream. He's been in everything from terrible situations to fantasy scenarios about what life would be like had he never broken his hands. Seeing how the plot of Doctor Strange played out, you have to wonder if a Nightmare-focused plot would have had a place for Mads Mikkelsen's Kaecilius, who served as a follower of Dormammu and was the direct adversary for Doctor Strange and the Ancient One's acolytes during much of the film.

Needless to say: The film would have been drastically different had Nightmare made the cut. What do you think? Would you like to see Nightmare face off with Doctor Strange in a future MCU film?