Why Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange cameo was cut from 'WandaVision'

Although fans theorised he was going to make an appearance in the show, Marvel studio head Kevin Feige explains why that was not the case

Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange was supposed to make a cameo in the final episode of 'WandaVision' before the idea was scrapped. Film Frame / Marvel
Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange was supposed to make a cameo in the final episode of 'WandaVision' before the idea was scrapped. Film Frame / Marvel

Even though WandaVision ended in March, one of the show's pressing fan theories has finally been answered. Benedict Cumberbatch did indeed film a cameo as Doctor Strange for the series, but it was ultimately cut.

Throughout the nine-episode season, Marvel fans knew that WandaVision would have some type of connection with the second Doctor Strange film, set for a 2022 release, although it was unclear how they would be connected. However, as it turns out, the two projects were almost directly linked.

The show, a spin-off that stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprising their roles as Wanda Maximoff and Vision, takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. It focuses mostly on Wanda and how she learns to deal with her heartache and grief to eventually become the Scarlet Witch and learn more about her own power.

Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany is Vision in Marvel Studios' WandaVision. Courtesy Disney+
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany as Vision in Marvel Studios' WandaVision'. Courtesy Disney+

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed that the plan was to see Doctor Strange appear in the final episode of the show, but late in the process, they decided to take him out.

“Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Dr Strange’, but it would have taken away from Wanda, which is what we didn’t want to do,” says Feige in an interview with Rolling Stone. “We didn’t want the end of the show to be commoditised to go to the next movie – here’s the white guy, ‘Let me show you how power works’.”

Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Dr. Strange’, but it would have taken away from Wanda, which is what we didn’t want to do

Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president

This last-minute change also meant the Doctor Strange sequel has had to be rewritten. However, Feige says that Marvel’s process is “a wonderful combination of very dedicated co-ordination and chaos. Chaos magic.”

WandaVision head writer Jac Schaeffer also added that at one point, back when Doctor Strange was supposed to be part of the story, the in-universe commercials seen in the show were going to be messages from Strange to Wanda, with him trying to reach out to help her. There were even talks of having Cumberbatch appear in one of the ads. Ultimately, it all got scrapped.

Doctor Strange showing up in WandaVision was a theory that many viewers had, not only because Olsen is set to star in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but also because in the comics, their arcs are heavily intertwined. However, it seem as though Marvel made the right decision as the show has been praised since it has aired, with a 92 per cent fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com.

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Updated: May 5, 2021 06:12 PM

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