Why Doctor Strange Was Written Out of Marvel’s WandaVision

Benedict Cumberbatch

Getty Images Benedict Cumberbatch at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Marvel Studios kicked off its Disney Plus slate in a big way with WandaVision, but a Rolling Stone exposé revealed the show nearly had a gigantic cameo that would’ve upped the star power dramatically. According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, a deal was in place to have Benedict Cumberbatch appear as Dr. Stephen Strange in the final episode of the show.

The finale of WandaVision saw its main character, Wanda Maximoff, realize her power as the Scarlet Witch (costume and all) to defeat fellow sorceress, Agatha Harkness.

While Strange’s proposed role in the show is mostly speculative — it was never actually written, after all — Feige makes it sound like it was going to be Strange helping Wanda to understand her power instead of Agatha.

“Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Dr. Strange,’” Feige told Rolling Stone. “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.’”

Head writer Jac Schaeffer said the Easter Egg-filled commercials that appeared on the show were, at one point, intended to be messages from Strange to Wanda. There was even talk of having Strange appear in one of those ads.

What Role Will Scarlet Witch Play in ‘Doctor Strange 2’?

Scarlet Witch Wanda Maximoff

Marvel StudiosElizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in the finale of ‘WandaVision.’

It’s hard to tell if Wanda will be friend or foe in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is set to come out March 25, 2022.

In the finale of WandaVision, Agatha explained to Wanda that there’s an entire chapter of the Darkhold, an ancient book of evil spells, dedicated to the Scarlet Witch.

“Your power exceeds that of the Sorcerer Supreme,” Agatha tells Wanda. “It’s your destiny to destroy the world.”

Wanda disputed that claim, telling Agatha, “I’m not what you say I am.” But in a post-credits scene, Wanda was shown reading through the pages of the Darkhold. It’s no secret that Elizabeth Olsen is set to appear in the Doctor Strange sequel, so did that scene mean she’s on the way to fulfilling her prophecy as the one who will destroy the world?

It sure looks like she’s headed toward an antagonistic role which could be especially damaging considering it seems Strange hasn’t yet become Sorcerer Supreme. In the final minutes of Doctor Strange — shortly after the death of the Ancient One played by Tilda Swinton — Wong cautioned Strange that, “Earth has no Sorcerer Supreme to defend it. We must be ready.”

That title will presumably belong to Dr. Strange at some point, but if he’s taken the mantle, it hasn’t been shown on screen.

Wanda’s taken a winding path thus far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She was first introduced as a villain who blamed the Avengers for the death of her parents and teamed up with Ultron to destroy them. Then she switched sides and helped them destroy Ultron and Thanos. But the death of Vision caused Wanda to spiral and eventually hold an entire town hostage in WandaVision so she could avoid her grief.

It would be odd if the character arc continued with Wanda turning into a full-blown villain.

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