WandaVision Originally Featured Doctor Strange
Marvel Studios had hoped that Benedict Cumberbatch would appear as Doctor Strange in key moments of WandaVision.
This article contains WandaVision spoilers.
Remember early on in the promotional process for Marvel’s WandaVision we were promised that it would set up elements of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? We knew that Elizabeth Olsen would also appear in that film, and it seemed logical that Benedict Cumberbatch would return the favor and appear as Stephen Strange in WandaVision.
And then remember how we were promised mind-bending cameos that ultimately ended up being cool but not exactly Sorcerer Supreme level?
And then remember how everyone was desperately trying to decode that the meanings of those mysterious commercials were, and while we got the general gist of them all, they never did quite end up adding up to the bigger picture we expected?
Well, guess what, Marvel stans? Kevin Feige remember, too, and in a new interview with Rolling Stone he’s got some answers for you!
First off, Doctor Strange was definitely supposed to appear in WandaVision, in the very final episode but Feige balked because “it would have taken away from Wanda, which is what we didn’t want to do. We didn’t want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie — here’s the white guy, ‘Let me show you how power works.’”
And since that ending would have led even more directly into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness than the actual, somewhat ambiguous ending of WandaVision already does, they had to make adjustments to that movie too, to account for the fact that the pair hadn’t already discussed her actions in Westview.
But then there’s the matter of those commercials, which were heavy with Wanda-specific symbolism but that we never got any real indication of the nature or greater meaning of. Those were supposed to be Strange himself creating TV-appropriate illusions in an attempt to reach Wanda and shake her out of her fantasy world. Rolling Stone says that WandaVision head writer Jac Schaeffer wanted Cumberbatch to appear as Strange in one of those commercials, but alas, it wasn’t to be.
Marvel rarely makes genuine storytelling missteps, and Feige’s logic for ultimately having that Doctor Strange cameo written out rings true overall, but we still can’t help but wonder what fun it would have been to see Cumberbatch try to blend into one of those sitcom-perfect unrealities. We will finally get to see Wanda Maximoff and Stephen Strange team up (or square off) when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on March 25, 2022.