It turns out that rumours of Benedict Cumberbatch’s WandaVision cameo were greatly exaggerated, with no sign of Doctor Strange in the Disney Plus series’ finale.
However, this doesn’t mean that WandaVision episode nine can’t tell us anything about Marvel’s upcoming movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is set to team up Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda with Cumberbatch in a reality-warping adventure.
You see, while Doctor Strange doesn’t appear in the WandaVision finale he is mentioned, albeit obliquely, with villain Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) noting that Wanda’s power over Chaos Magic exceeds his own mystical abilities.
“Your power exceeds that of the Sorcerer Supreme,” Agatha tells her. “It’s your destiny to destroy the world.”
Of course, in the end Wanda manages to not destroy the world within this particular story, instead removing the Westview Hex and heading into seclusion in her newfound Scarlet Witch outfit. But it’s hard not to see this line from Agatha as something of a pointed hint about what’s next for Wanda, where her great magical power may attract the attention of the guy who’s job it is to regulate the world’s magic.
And as for that reference to destroying the world, well, who’s to say that fate doesn’t still await Wanda in Doctor Strange 2? In WandaVision’s finale post-credits scene we see Wanda astrally exploring the magic in powerful grimoire The Darkhold, a text of dark power known as the “book of the damned".
Based on this, it seems likely that Wanda’s MCU story will now see her exploring her magical abilities, possibly to bring her twin sons back to life – and it’s easy to see how Doctor Strange could come into this quest, either as someone who needs to stop Wanda causing damage with her dangerous magic, or as someone who might be able to help her.
With this in mind, Wanda could be sidekick or villain in the next Doctor Strange movie, and it’ll be intriguing to see which direction the story goes in.
Of course, given Wanda’s apparent importance to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it could seem a little odd that there’s not a stronger connection between the two projects – but perhaps, in another world, there could have been.
Because while Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is still filming and not due to be released until March 2022, originally the film was set to be released a year earlier, meaning fans would have only had a few weeks between WandaVision’s conclusion and the continuation of the story.
Sadly, COVID-related delays meant that plan was scrapped, and we may never know how that’s affected the connective tissue between the TV show and the film. Perhaps the original plan was to drop Dr Strange into the mix in a post-credits scene, only for the idea to be scrapped when they realised just how long fans would have to wait between the projects.
Maybe with such a delay, they didn’t even have the time to film the scene they had planned, which would have been part of Doctor Strange 2 filming. Either way, putting a teaser in for a film that’s not out for a year (assuming the release dates don’t just move again anyway) might just be too much of a stretch even for Marvel, leading them to the more ambiguous magical hints that actually ended up in the episode.
Still, whether you’re fuming about the lack of Doctor Strange in this Disney Plus series or not, one thing is for sure – in 12 months or so, every WandaVision fan will be getting excited to see Olsen’s spellcaster once more, even without a sneaky post-credits cameo.
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After all, at this stage Marvel doesn’t even need to work too hard to make the connections – clearly, fans are quite happy to join the dots themselves.
Want more WandaVision content? Check out our guide to the WandaVision cast, the WandaVision release schedule, Agatha Harkness, the Darkhold and the creepy WandaVision commercials. Plus, we ask: When is WandaVision set, how did Vision survive, and can we expect a WandaVision series 2?
WandaVision releases new episodes on Disney Plus on Fridays. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.