Doctor Who alum Karen Gillan doesn’t get nearly enough screen time in Marvel’s latest box office behemoth Guardians of the Galaxy, but she’s awesome when she shows up. Painted blue with a shaved head that caused quite the uproar among fans of her trademark red locks, she plays Nebula, adopted daughter of the villain Thanos (Josh Brolin). Between make up, prosthetics, and costumes, she creates an imposing figure—it doesn’t hurt matters at all that she is a total badass—but as you can see in this piece of concept art, she almost sported a different look.
In real world terms, this is really just a difference of outfit; the actual make up, applications, and whatnot still appear the same. The biggest change is really the that the clothes in this unused imagining of the character expose her belly to the world, showing not only her navel, but some more of the technological additions that have been made to her body over the years. Aside from that, the cuff around her neck is much higher, which is in line with some of her looks in the comics.
You can imagine why they went the way they did, the version in the James Gunn-directed film looks much more comfortable. Considering that much of the time when Nebula is on screen she’s moving around quite a bit, fighting various enemies, mobility was also likely an issue the costume department took into consideration as well. Something about this form also looks fairly similar to Peter Jason Quill’s, aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Ravager garb, so it’s entirely possible they changed some things up so the two characters, who are definitely on opposite sides of the primary conflict, don’t appear to be dressed too similar.
Andy Park is the one who created this image, and though it wasn’t ultimately the one used in the film, he released it via his Twitter account with the following message: “Had the most fun working on #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy My fav was designing Nebula! @KarenGillan2 was badass! #marvel.”
Nebula is a character that we’re definitely waiting to see more from in future installments, like Guardians of the Galaxy 2, which has already been given the green light from the studio (you earn $94 million on your opening weekend, you bet your ass that you’re getting a sequel). She has a lot going on, but the film doesn’t get into much of it. There is the clash with her adopted sister Gamora (Zoe Saldana), as well as some serious daddy issues in play (not in the least that Thanos lends his daughters out as muscle to Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser).
For now we’ll take what we have, but we’ll be waiting for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, hopefully with more Nebula, on July 28, 2017.