The Doctor Strange-centric episode from What If…? originally had a much darker ending.
What If…? started off extremely promising with its first three episodes, providing Marvel fans with intriguing hypothetical storylines that were expansive and action-packed. However, it was the fourth episode of the animated series elevated the show to new heights. Instead of having Doctor Stephen Strange lose the function of his hands, the episode saw his love Christine Palmer die in the car crash. Riddled with guilt and despair, Stephen Strange eventually assumed the role of Doctor Strange and began to use the Eye of Agomotto to save his beloved.
Christine’s death was presented as an absolute point of time, meaning it was always meant to happen. No matter how hard he tried, Doctor Strange always failed. More and more desperate, Strange began to practice even darker mystical arts, which eventually lead to the entire universe folding upon itself… thus destroyed. The What If…? episode was easily the darkest storyline that Marvel Studios has ever produced but it turns out it was originally way darker.
In an interview with EW, winter A.C. Bradley revealed the original, darker plans for the episode, which saw the real Doctor Strange dying in a more gory way. In the show, Strange died when Doctor Strange Supreme absorbed him to bring Palmer back to life.
“Originally in the script, regular Strange, his death was a lot more gruesome. He was actually beaten to death by the Eye of Agamotto. Then when the storyboard artist took it over, they were like, ‘We’re going to make this a little bit more visual and fantastical instead of horrifically violent.’ Because I went too dark.”
While Doctor Strange’s original death would have been darker, it wouldn’t have done much to change the overwhelming emotional impact the episode left on viewers. With a second season of What If…? already set up, we’re hoping to see darker storylines be front and center for the Marvel show’s sophomore outing.
Here is the synopsis for Marvel’s What if…?:
“Exploring pivotal moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turning them on their head, leading the audience into uncharted territory.”
Marvel’s What If…? features the voices of Josh Brolin, Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Michael B Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Jeffrey Wright, Hayley Atwell, and other major stars from the MCU.
The first seven episodes of What If…? are available to stream on Disney Plus. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of the series and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.