There were many fan theories about who would show up in Disney+’s WandaVision (Mephisto, anyone?). While most of these guesses turned out to be wrong, one cameo that seemed to have a decent chance of happening, given that we knew Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) was appearing in 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, was Benedict Cumberbatch (aka Doctor Strange).
Those who’ve seen WandaVision know that the Sorcerer Supreme did not show up in the series’ finale on Mar. 5. What we recently found out, however, is that Strange was initially written into the show.
In an oral history of WandaVision coming out in Rolling Stone, Marvel President and Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige revealed that they planned to have Cumberbatch appear in the finale of the Disney+ series, but ended up cutting him out relatively late in the development process.
“Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Doctor Strange,’” Feige told Rolling Stone, echoing the fever dream of many a fan. “But 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.’”
According to Rolling Stone, the earlier version of WandaVision had the commercials that appear throughout the series as messages from Strange to Wanda. There was even discussion of having Cumberbatch star in one of said commercials, which — as we all know — never came to pass.
The last-minute rewrite meant that the upcoming Doctor Strange movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, had to be rewritten as well, a process Feige described as “a wonderful combination of very dedicated coordination, and chaos. Chaos magic.”
We don’t have the details (yet) on what was changed in Multiverse of Madness, but we do know that Olsen will be appearing as Wanda, aka the Scarlet Witch, in the MCU film.
WandaVision is currently streaming on Disney+. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will premiere in theaters on Mar. 25, 2022.