“WandaVision” actor Paul Bettany got himself into trouble with Marvel fans after touting a surprise cameo all season long that turned out just to be another character played by Bettany himself. Before that reveal leading into the series finale, fans went wild theorizing who might show up to the Disney+ series. The overwhelming favorite to cameo was Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange. Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda is already confirmed to have a starring role in the upcoming film “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness,” so fans figured the “WandaVision” finale would set the stage for the movie. However, that’s exactly what Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and the “WandaVision” team wanted to avoid.
In an interview for the May 2021 print edition of Rolling Stone (via /Film), Feige confirmed that Doctor Strange was in the works to include in the “WandaVision” finale. Those buzzy commercial breaks that aired during “WandaVision” episodes had been originally set up to serve as coded messages Wanda was sending to Doctor Strange as he “attempted to break through her sitcom fabrication.” Doctor Strange was going to arrive in the finale, and “Marvel had even finalized a deal with Cumberbatch to appear in the season’s final episode.” The plan got nixed so that “WandaVision” could stand on its own and to also avoid a male character arriving to save the day and explain Wanda’s powers to her.
“Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Doctor Strange,’” Feige said. “But it would have taken away from Wanda. 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.’”
The “WandaVision” finale found Wanda coming into her own as the Scarlet Witch without the help of any character having to save her or explain her powers, male or female (although she did indirectly learn a few tricks from Agatha Harkness, but that was on her own accord). The series ended with Wanda in possession of the Darkhold book and training herself in all things magic.
“WandaVision” is now streaming on Disney +. Cumberbatch and Olsen can be seen in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” when it opens in theaters March 25, 2022.
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