WandaVision: More details on the scrapped Doctor Strange cameo

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, WandaVision, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Cumberbatch

Up until the very end, Marvel fans were expecting Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to turn up in WandaVision, but as we know, the Sorcerer Supreme didn't show. As the Disney+ series will directly lead into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, this expectation wasn't unwarranted, in fact, it had been the plan from the very beginning.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that a Doctor Strange cameo was in the works for the WandaVision finale last month and that they had even finalized a deal with Benedict Cumberbatch to return, but at the end of the day, they decided that they didn't want to shift focus away from Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen). In a Rolling Stone feature published last month which is now available online, WandaVision head writer Jac Schaeffer spilled a few more details on what could have been.

The plan when I came on board was that there would, at the end of the series, be a handoff, and that Dr. Strange’s participation would amount to essentially a short cameo. So early outlines had varying versions of the two of them [Wanda and Dr. Strange] kind of riding off into the sunset together. And it didn’t feel quite right. We wanted to fulfill Wanda’s agency and autonomy within this particular story. So it did feel a little tacked on. Another problem was, if Dr. Strange shows up at just the end, where was he this whole time? I did love writing variations of Dr. Strange, variations on those final beats. It was a pleasure to write for him. There were versions where she was flying past the city limits and then encountered Dr. Strange, that kind of thing.

Schaeffer added that one of her favourite ideas for inserting Doctor Strange into WandaVision was "that in the Nexus commercial [in Episode Seven], it would kind of be a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo, a quick image of Dr. Strange as the pharmacist in the background. I was very inspired by Fight Club, when Brad Pitt’s character is on the TV in the hotel — like, if you’re looking closely you’d see it for just a second. We were like, 'The Nexus commercial is her subconscious. What if Strange is in the background and trying to reach her?' But ultimately we decided in favor of Wanda’s own story." With Doctor Strange out of the picture, Kevin Feige said that they had to reconceive how the pair meet up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but that led to "a better ending on WandaVision than we initially thought of, and a better storyline in Dr. Strange. And that’s usually how it works, which is to lay the chess pieces the way you want them to go in a general fashion, but always be willing and open to shifting them around to better serve each individual one."

Production on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was directed by Sam Raimi, wrapped up earlier this year, and Elizabeth Olsen has teased that the sequel is a "bonkers movie" and that "they're definitely going for that horror show vibe." I'm down. In addition to Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also stars Benedict Wong as Wong, Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mardo, Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez. The film is slated to hit theaters on March 25, 2022.

Source: Rolling Stone

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.