For a show that looks as surreal and shocking as WandaVision, it’s no surprise that audiences are yet to see all that the genre-bending Disney Plus series has to offer. Indeed, although some details have been leaked (such as the series “directly” tying into Sam Raimi’s upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness film, or the presence of franchise characters like Randall Park’s Jimmy Woo), there is still plenty that fans simply don’t know.
Case in point: there is seemingly an “unbelievable” actor in the series that is yet to be announced. In an interview with Black Girl Nerds’ Jeandra LeBeauf, Paul Bettany (who stars in the show as Vision) let slip that there is a character in WandaVision that is a “surprise for everybody.” Specifically, Bettany said: “There’s stuff that I can’t talk to you about where I get to work with an actor — it’s gonna be a surprise for everybody — I get to work with an actor I’ve been wanting to work with forever, who is just unbelievable, and we have some real fireworks together.”
So, who is this character? With the show premiering on Friday with a double episode feature, fans are clamoring to work out who this “surprise” is. Is it an actor in the MCU that Bettany hasn’t had a chance to work with yet? Is it a sitcom star that perhaps helped inspire the series? Or is it a legendary actor playing a key character related to Vision? Here are some of the most popular guesses so far.
With WandaVision directly tying into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, there’s every chance Doctor Strange himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, will appear to help bridge the gap between the series and the film; it would perhaps help create some continuity within the MCU (as opposed to just random cameos). Moreover, with Strange’s powers often looking like ‘fireworks,’ perhaps Bettany’s comment of “we have some real fireworks together” is a knowing-nod towards Cumberbatch’s involvement.
However, Bettany and Cumberbatch have previously worked together on 2009’s Creation – a biopic about acclaimed naturalist Charles Darwin. Seeing how the actor is one Bettany hasn’t supposedly worked with before, this suggests that Cumberbatch wasn’t who he was referring to with these comments. Who knows? Perhaps Strange does appear nonetheless, and Bettany was just referring to another character’s presence.
If anyone deserves to cameo in WandaVision, it’s probably Hollywood legend Dick Van Dyke. Not only was his 60s sitcom, The Dick Van Dyke Show, an inspiration for the series, but Bettany actually met with Dyke during pre-production to learn more about the sensibilities of the format; Dyke has already played a huge part in WandaVision.
With this in mind, perhaps the iconic comedy actor appears in a scene or two; maybe, by “fireworks”, Bettany was referring to the chemistry they have together. Dyke has worked with Disney within the last few years (having a small cameo in 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns), so perhaps the studio and the actor have kept a dialogue open, paving the way for his appearance in WandaVision. Considering all this, Dyke seems like a strong contender for this “surprising” addition.
There are few people more widely associated with sitcoms than Ed O’Neill. Having starred in both Fox’s Married… with Children (1987) and ABC’s Modern Family (2009), O’Neill has been the face of the sitcom format for over 4 decades; if the show were to pay homage to ‘sitcoms’ it would make sense for them to invite O’Neill along. Additionally, with both Fox and ABC now being solely owned by Disney, it adds the kind of cross-brand promotion the media conglomerate adores.
The question then becomes who would O’Neill play? With WandaVision set in a suburban neighborhood, perhaps he will the classic patriarchal figure he has become known for (a Jay Pritchett-type), who can offer some light antagonism to Wanda and Vision? Whilst it’s difficult to guess who O’Neill will play exactly, there’s a high chance he’ll feature.
Marvel Studios love rewarding eagle-eyed viewers, like when Donald Glover played Miles Morales’ uncle in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. Therefore, it would definitely be in-character for Wandavision to feature James Spader, who previously voiced Ultron in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. A key theme in WandaVision is family, so perhaps Spader cameos in an episode as Vision’s father? In the pseudo-reality created by Wanda’s powers, this is definitely possible.
Although Spader and Bettany were both in Age of Ultron, they shared precious few scenes together, due to Spader only providing the voice of Ultron – perhaps by being in WandaVision, he and Bettany can finally, properly “work together.” In any case, if Spader were in the series, it would definitely allow for some excellent scenes, as well as knowing nod towards that earlier film
Admittedly, this is a stretch. In the comics, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are actually the biological children of Magneto – instead of gaining their powers from infinity stones, they are instead Mutants. So, if WandaVision were to really hone-in on the theme of family, it would make sense for the show to feature Wanda’s father, and who has played Magneto before? That’s right: Sir Ian McKellen.
Although McKellen was part of the X-Men Universe, with Disney now owning the rights to those films, there is a non-zero chance he could appear. Between Feige never definitely saying whether or not that universe was canon and how the MCU is set to explore parallel universes through the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Loki, who knows? Perhaps Magneto (and McKellen) will appear in the series, and that certainly would be a surprise.