WandaVision producer reveals why Doctor Strange didn’t appear

Doctor Strange
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. Pic credit: Marvel

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for the first season of WandaVision.

WandaVision could have had Doctor Strange and…a killer rabbit?

With WandaVision having ended its first season, much of the reactions have been about what didn’t happen, such as a rumored appearance by the demonic Mephisto.

In a new interview, producer Jac Schaeffer is sharing some of the storylines that did not make it into the show and whether some might end up on screen in the future. 

Doctor Strange and Mephisto

Schaeffer addressed a key surprising non-cameo which was that Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) did not appear. Given he’s the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth and Wanda was using powerful magic, that would have been logical.

It would have complimented Wanda’s appearance in the coming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness film. 

Speaking to Deadline, Schaeffer admits the timing simply didn’t line up for Cumberbatch’s schedule. 

“I heart Doctor Strange just like anybody. Yeah, it’s one of those things, that’s how the chips fell, that’s how the cookie crumbled, is what I will say, but I look forward to seeing him on screen with Wanda in Doctor Strange 2.”

Schaeffer also revealed that, contrary to many fan theories, there were never any plans for Mephisto, the Devil of the Marvel Universe, to be in the show simply because the writers felt he wasn’t needed. 

“We didn’t think this series needed a big bad. I mean, the big bad is grief, you know, and that’s the story that we were telling, and then we got a bonus baddie in the form of Agatha Harkness, who ended up facilitating Wanda’s therapy, so yeah, I think we feel pretty good about that.

The Pietro fakeout

Kevin Feige explains why Evan Peters was used in WandaVision
Evan Peters as Quicksilver in WandaVision. Pic credit: Marvel

Schaeffer did discuss one of the most notable aspects of the show, which was casting Evan Peters as Wanda’s late brother Pietro.

Peters, of course, played Quicksilver in the X-Men movies, and his taking over the role from Aaron Taylor-Johnson fueled instant speculation that there would be a connection between the X-men films and the MCU.

Instead, “Pietro” is merely Ralph Bohner, a local actor Agatha pulled into this. It also turns out he’s Ralph, the absent “husband” of Agatha’s cover identity, Agnes. 

The idea is that Agatha came to town and took over the neighbor’s house in order to sort of be undercover, and there happened to be a young man named Ralph Bohner who was already living in Westview. In the writers’ room, we enjoyed writing Agatha’s sense of humor, and so the idea that she would actually be talking about her hostage through the entirety of the series really tickled us.

Schaeffer praised Peters’ performance while tight-lipped on if Ralph can pop up in the MCU again.

Senor Scratchy

Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness. Pic credit: Disney

While there was no Mephisto, director Matt Shakman shared a wild idea that would have made a monster out of the most unlikely figure: Agatha’s pet rabbit, Senor Scratchy. 

The sequence would be Darcy (Kat Dennings), Monica (Teyonah Parris), and Ralph aiding Wanda’s sons Billy and Tommy in getting inside Agatha’s home. As they head to the Darkhold, they see Senor Scratchy with Darcy, naturally, gushing about how cute he is…at which point the “rabbit” transforms into a monstrous demon to chase them. 

We shot it but didn’t finish all the VFX and stuff for it. And it was, it was a great sequence. It was super fun, everyone was great in it, but we ended up moving it aside because it was a huge sort of detour in the middle of everything else that we had going on so, yeah, Señor Scratchy did have a little bit more left on the cutting room floor.”

The Marvel experience

Schaeffer did not state whether such missing sequences will eventually be seen but did speak warmly on her experiences and how the show works into other MCU projects. 

“I can only speak to my own experiences at Marvel, and you know, from where I’m sitting, it’s been more organic than that. I haven’t been in a big room with a bunch of different writers on other projects. I’ve sat down with some other teams just to put the brains together and make sure everyone is looking at whatever the issue is in the same way and that everybody has the information that they need.”

“Usually it’s obviously Kevin who has the masterplan and communicates what needs to be communicated. I’ve enjoyed it because it sort of feels like a living organism. It’s not something that’s so prescriptive in that way. It kind of flows. It’s amazing.”

With WandaVision having set up various MCU projects (from Doctor Strange to Captain Marvel 2 and the coming Secret Invasion series), Schaeffer had good insight into creating such a magical show. 

WandaVision Season 1 now streaming on Disney+.

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