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Doctor Strange almost appeared in WandaVision – here's why he didn't

doctor strange in the multiverse of madness
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel Studios)

WandaVision, the first Disney Plus TV show, may have ended two months ago, but new information is still trickling out about the acclaimed series.

Marvel Studios' first TV series was a big hit, and owed much of its success to the wealth of fan speculation that grew around it. One of the biggest rumors surrounding WandaVision was a Doctor Strange cameo was planned for the show, which didn't end up being true in the end - or did it?

According to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, Benedict Cumberbatch's Sorcerer Supreme was supposed to appear in some capacity, so why was his cameo cut?

Speaking to Rolling Stone about WandaVision, Feige revealed that Doctor Strange's appearance was dropped so it didn't detract from the Wanda-centric story that Marvel was trying to tell.

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

Feige also revealed that WandaVision's surreal commercials were also tied to Stephen Strange's cameo, with his superhero alter-ego trying to communicate with Wanda via those weird and sometimes trippy sequences. Cumberbatch himself was planned to appear in one of the ads, according to the interview.

What does this mean for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?

If Doctor Strange was supposed to turn up in WandaVision, what does this cut cameo mean for his Multiverse of Madness sequel?

Well, in the same Rolling Stone piece, Feige alludes to the fact that Doctor Strange 2's script had to be altered due to this decision. That's unsurprising, but it does mean that the first act of the Sorcerer Supreme's next movie had to be changed to accommodate Marvel's decision.

Here's some pure speculation on our part: the film could start off with Strange having heard about the events that transpired in Westview and trying to track down Wanda. It's possible he's trying to make her face justice for trapping the town's residents for weeks on end. 

If that's the case, that could tie into Doctor Strange 2's synopsis, which reveals that Strange unleashes an "unspeakable evil" when an "old-friend-turned-enemy" halts his research on the Time stone. That "old friend" is more likely to be Mordo - Strange and Wanda don't really meet or converse in Avengers: Infinity War or Endgame - but Wanda could still play some part in proceedings.

Still, this could just be an outdated synopsis that's changed since Doctor Strange 2's cast was officially announced in December 2020.

Why do we say that? We know that Doctor Strange 2's script was given some treatment by Loki head writer Michael Waldron. He was reportedly brought on board to tie the events of Loki into Doctor Strange 2's plot, so there's more consistency between the Marvel movies and Disney Plus TV show. If Waldron has altered Doctor Strange 2's early plot significantly, the initial synopsis may have changed by now, too.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released globally on March 25, 2022.