Today in “No Doy”: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange almost made an appearance in WandaVision, the hit Marvel series in which superhero sorceress Wanda Maximoff forces a whole town to participate in a cathartic grieving process following the death of her synthezoid boyfriend, Vision. The series, which pays homage to classic TV shows like Bewitched and Full House, gives Elizabeth Olsen’s oft-bereaved superhero more depth and dimension, while paving the way for her return in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, but more importantly: Kathryn Hahn!
It was widely assumed that Cumberbatch would probably appear in an episode of WandaVision—especially after Paul Bettany teased a major cameo, which turned out to be... Paul Bettany. Speaking with Rolling Stone for an upcoming oral history of WandaVision (already?), Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange was slated for a cameo in the series, but ultimately they felt “it would have taken away from Wanda, which is what we didn’t want to do.” Feige goes on to explain that they “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.’” Whether that moment of self-awareness was calculated or genuine, Feige is definitely a man who knows how to control the narrative of his product.
In any case, WandaVision was just fine without a cameo from Benedict Cumberbatch and his cumber-stache, which really would’ve just taken screen time away from the real star (it was Agatha all alooooooong!).