Benedict Cumberbatch was signed to appear as Doctor Strange on the finale of WandaVision. Then Marvel decided against it and had to change everything.
Rolling Stone spoke to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and he explained how this surprising news all went down. Basically, because Marvel had announced Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) would be appearing in the Doctor Strange sequel Doctor Strange and Multiverse of Madness, the plan was for Cumberbatch to appear on the show to tie into that movie. One version had him pop up in one of WandaVision’s commercials. Another had the commercials as actual messages from Strange to Wanda. But eventually, they just cut him out.
“Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Doctor 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.’”
Once Strange’s link to Wanda was cut out of the show, the movie itself had to be changed too, most likely to add in the bit of story linking the Sorcerer Supreme and Scarlet Witch that would’ve happened on the show. As the MCU stands now, WandaVision left Wanda alone in some faraway place, studying up on her new powers. Some have suggested she got away too easily, without paying the price for what she did to the people of Westview, but Olsen herself has a tease about that.
“She had to get away before the people who have to hold her accountable got there,” Olsen told the magazine. “And where she went is a place that no one could find her. Because she knows that she is going to be held accountable, and I think she has a tremendous amount of guilt.”
It sounds like that might be a clue to how Wanda plays into the Multiverse of Madness. We’ll find out March 25, 2022.