Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige recently provided more details as to why Doctor Strange was cut from WandaVision.
Previously, Feige confirmed Strange was cut because he was white and would help Wanda with her newfound powers. He made those claims as part of a Rolling Stone piece from back in May.
Feige stated, “Some people might say, ‘Oh, it would’ve been so cool to see Doctor Strange.’ But it would have taken away from Wanda.”
“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,’” he added.
Now, Rolling Stone has published more of their interview with Kevin Feige and other members of WandaVision, where he and the show’s head writer Jac Schaeffer provided more details on why Strange was cut and what exactly they had planned for him.
While discussing the show’s in-universe commercials, head writer Jac Schaeffer detailed that Dr. Strange did indeed appear in one of them.
She explained, “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.”
Feige then elaborated, “I haven’t talked about this before, but we had a deal with Benedict [Cumberbatch] to pop up at the end of WandaVision, or somewhere in WandaVision.”
He detailed, “Because we knew we wanted to connect them [Wanda’s next appearance is in the second Dr. Strange movie, next year’s Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness], and wouldn’t it be great. But as we worked on the show, and on the movie, we realized there was no reason to really do that.”
However, Feige himself gave the reason for connecting the show and the movie during an appearance hyping Marvel’s Disney+ shows at Brazil CCXP 2019.
He stated, “After Endgame, thinking, ‘What can we do next?’ Disney+ is going to give us this opportunity to tell even deeper stories with characters you already know and love…in a new type of cinematic way that we haven’t done before. We’ve already started shooting two of them and they’re very, very special.”
“And it all, for the first time, will interlink. So, the MCU will be on your TV screen at home on Disney+ and interconnect with the movies and go back and forth. It’s exciting to expand the MCU into even bigger and better heights,” Feige added.
As for what one of their ideas for a Doctor Strange commercial was, Schaeffer provided some details.
She said, “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?” But ultimately we decided in favor of Wanda’s own story,” she added.
Later on in the interview, Schaeffer provided more details on what Strange’s role in the show was supposed to be.
She said, “The plan when I came on board was that there would, at the end of the series, be a handoff, and that Dr. Strange’s participation would amount to essentially a short cameo.”
“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,” Schaeffer continued.
She went on, “We wanted to fulfill Wanda’s agency and autonomy within this particular story. So it did feel a little tacked on.”
She then added, “Another problem was, if Dr. Strange shows up at just the end, where was he this whole time? I did love writing variations of Dr. Strange, variations on those final beats. It was a pleasure to write for him. There were versions where she was flying past the city limits and then encountered Dr. Strange, that kind of thing.”
Since they nixed Doctor Strange from WandaVision, Feige explained they had to do a rewrite for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
He told Rolling Stone, “So that meant we had to reconceive how they meet in that movie. And now we have a better ending on WandaVision than we initially thought of, and a better storyline in Dr. Strange.”
“And that’s usually how it works, which is to lay the chess pieces the way you want them to go in a general fashion, but always be willing and open to shifting them around to better serve each individual one,” concluded Feige.
Interestingly enough, while they nixed the Doctor Strange cameo from the commercial as well as how he and Scarlet Witch would meet, they did keep the Claymation ad from episode six despite it not being tied to Wanda’s consciousness.
Schaeffer relayed, “Kevin loved it so much, and we’d changed it in a draft, and he was like, ‘No, no, go back to the version where the kid withers on the beach.'”
“So the idea of having a Claymation one was just so exciting and so right for the era. It didn’t change when we moved away from the Dr. Strange idea, so it feels like an outlier, I think,” she elaborated.
What do you make of this information from Kevin Feige and Jac Schaeffer? Did they make the right decision by axing Doctor Strange? Should they have made the show more interlinked to the MCU films like Feige promised?