Apparently, Benedict Cumberbatch was all set to appear in WandaVision, but he was written out late in the process. Why the heck would Marvel do such a thing? Studio president Kevin Feige explained to Rolling Stone that bringing in Doctor Strange “would have taken away from Wanda.” Feige “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.’”
When he explains that way, I totally get where he’s coming from. This was a story about Wanda’s grief and how she worked through it. Bringing in the Sorcerer Supreme would have distracted from her journey.
And they still teased Wanda’s role in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at the end of the show, in the post-credits stinger. It would have been cool for Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange to show up, but I think the decision to do it this way makes way more sense.
How Doctor Strange was originally going to appear in WandaVision
So we understand why Doctor Strange wasn’t in WandaVision, but if he had been, what would that have looked like?
According to head writer Jac Schaeffer, the wacky commercials we saw throughout WandaVision were going to be messages from Doctor Strange to Wanda. In fact, Cumberbatch was even supposed to appear in one of the ads. But alas, it did not happen, and now, we must patiently wait until 2022 to see how these two come together in the Multiverse of Madness.
and while we wait to find out, there are plenty of theories out there about how Doctor Strange could have been connected to the commercials. The basic idea is that Doctor Strange was trying to send Wanda messages but they were distorted as they passed through the Hex, with these weird commercials coming out the other end. Some of them retain sentiments that seem very out of place in an advertisement, like the one with the kid who staves on an island:
This could have a message from Strange about Wanda needing to break free of her grief, and the Hex made it as family-friendly as possible, resulting in the creepy mismatch.
If you analyze every commercial, you can see the progression of the messages. Some of them urge Wanda to accept her reality, remind her that time is running out (the symbolism of the Strucker watch commercial, and remember that a watch is Strange’s one and only prized possession), and to clean up the mess that she’s created (the Lagos commercial).
Hopefully the team can save some of these great ideas for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which comes out on March 25, 2022.