After fans suspected Benedict Cumberbatch could make an appearance in WandaVision, they were disappointed after Season 1 wrapped up with not even a glimpse of Dr. Strange. But according to Rolling Stone, those fan theories weren’t so far off. As part of the magazine’s WandaVision oral history, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige explained how Cumberbatch was this close to appearing in the Disney+ hit before being yanked from the show entirely.
Although we never got to see Cumberbatch in WandaVision, Feige revealed that Marvel had plans in place for his character on the series and had set a deal with Cumberbatch to reprise his Dr. Strange character for the final episode. It wasn’t until later in the production process that they reversed course and wrote Cumberbatch out of the show.
“Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Dr. Strange,'” Feige told Rolling Stone. Still, Marvel had a different vision and wanted to focus on Wanda Maximoff/ Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), he explained. “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.'”
Removing Dr. Strange from the WandaVision finale meant some edits to the Dr. Strange movie script, and now Olsen is set to continue as Wanda in 2022’s Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, where she’ll appear alongside Cumberbatch. In the end, Feige reflected on Marvel’s creative process as “a wonderful combination of very dedicated coordination, and chaos. Chaos magic.”
WandaVision‘s Paul Bettany helped fuel the rumors of a Cumberbatch cameo last spring when he teased an appearance by an actor he’s “longed to work with” all his life. While fans immediately suspected Cumberbatch, it turned out to be none other than Bettany himself playing White Vision. On his part, Cumberbatch apologized on the Jake’s Takes YouTube series in March per CBR, telling host Jake Hamilton, “I’m sorry I disappointed you,” adding, “that would have been fun.”
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