Throughout WandaVision's Disney+ run, fans were constantly expecting to see a major Avengers superhero cameo after teases from the cast and crew, with Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange being among the most theorized.
This came in part due to the announcement Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch would appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with her Disney+ series supposedly set to connect directly to the blockbuster event movie.
Doctor Strange's Scrapped WandaVision Role Explained
The shot left several post-it notes visible in the background, including one revealing a deleted plan for Doctor Strange's role in the series.
The scrapped plan would have seemingly seen "Doctor Strange trapped" within a Mirror Dimension closet:
"Agatha hears same sound as twins – opens Mirror Dimension in closet revealing Doctor Strange trapped!"
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige previously remarked how there was "a deal with Benedict [Cumberbatch] to pop up at the end of WandaVision, or somewhere in WandaVision."
During the same interview, head writer Jac Schaeffer revealed Doctor Strange was once going to be behind the cryptic commercials scattered throughout the series as he was "trying to reach out to her:"
"There was a version of the commercials where it was Dr. Strange trying to reach out to her, that he was actually behind the commercials, and we moved off of that idea."
She even noted an abandoned plan for the sorcerer to have a "blink-and-you-miss-it cameo" in Episode 7's Nexus commercial as a background pharmacist:
"One of my favorite ideas 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?'"
Schaeffer added in the interview how the plan was for Doctor Strange to have a "short cameo" at the end of the series. The cameo would seemingly have seen the magical pair "riding off into the sunset together" but was scrapped to keep the focus on Wanda herself:
"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."
The writer also revealed a version of the cameo where Wanda was "flying past the city limits and then encountered Doctor Strange." So clearly, the WandaVision team went through many ideas to try and fit him into the series.
Why Doctor Strange's WandaVision Cameo Had To Go
While Marvel Studios was clearly determined to fit Doctor Strange into WandaVision somehow to tease Multiverse of Madness, it doesn't seem there was ever a definitive plan for how he would play into the Disney+ series.
The plan even went as far as reaching an agreement with actor Benedict Cumberbatch, even though they clearly had no actual plan for his role, beyond it just being a "short cameo" toward the end of the series.
The deleted Doctor Strange cameo obviously led to some reworking of Multiverse of Madness, as the writers then had to find a way for the magical Avengers to unite in the movie, as opposed to already being together after WandaVision.
Fan expectations may not have been satiated after WandaVision failed to deliver any major cameo, but the final result left a story more focussed on Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff and her turn into the all-powerful Scarlet Witch.
Had Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange appeared in the WandaVision finale, his role would have likely become the sole focus of fans, taking all the attention away from the end of Wanda's first solo story and what the conclusion meant for her future.
WandaVision is streaming now on Disney+.