HEAT VISION

'WandaVision' Finale Cameo Divides Fans

Director Matt Shakman previously said he was worried about the reaction as the hype for a certain cameo reached critical mass.

[This story contains spoilers for the finale of Disney+'s WandaVision.]

Nothing is certain except death, taxes — and disappointed fans screaming into the social media void. The WandaVision finale has, unsurprisingly, left some viewers feeling let down, specifically over the much-hyped guest appearance.

Anticipation had been churning like an angry sea for weeks after star Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff) confirmed in an interview that there would be an upcoming cameo that rivaled the likes of Mark Hamill as (a de-aged) Luke Skywalker on the season two finale of The Mandalorian. Fans, as they do, ran amok with theories.

Paul Bettany (Vision) added fuel to the fire, telling Esquire in an interview published last month, “Truth is, of all of the characters we were trying to keep secret, a lot of them got out through leaks. There is one character that has not been revealed. And it is very exciting. … It is an actor I’ve longed to work with all of my life. We have some amazing scenes together, and I think the chemistry between us is extraordinary and fireworks on set.” (For the record, Bettany acknowledged this week he was trolling audiences with his own tease.)

What seemed to be the most obvious choice from Scarlet Witch comic lore — and also a cameo most agreed would be on par with Hamill — would have been Magneto, i.e., Ian McKellen, who played the character in Fox's X-Men films from 2000 to 2014. In the comics, Magneto is Wanda's father. But was that still a possibility given that viewers saw Wanda's father (not McKellen) in episode eight? Of course. Olsen is among the cast of the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so who could have guessed what jumped-started that adventure? And fans know the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home is also rumored to deal with the multiverse. Plus, Evan Peters plays a version of Pietro Maximoff. In the later X-Men film series, it is revealed Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is that Quicksilver's father.

But, alas, no Sir Ian. The actual cameo will remain nameless here to preserve spoilers.

A number of fans responded on social media with clown GIFs, in reaction to the episode in general and by other users toward those disappointed McKellen did not appear. (Hamill had a bit of fun, too.)

The disappointment and attendant frustration were a concern previously expressed by episode director Matt Shakman.

"I know there are so many theories out there; there will be a lot of people who will no doubt be disappointed by one theory or another," Shakman said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "But we're always telling this story about Wanda dealing with grief and learning how to accept that loss, and hopefully people will find that the finale is surprising but also satisfying and that it feels inevitable because it's the same story they've been watching the whole time."

Cameo woes aside, WandaVision has been a critical and fan success. And the finale, overall, was well received by many sharing their praise on social media. During the season, the show twice led to a brief outage for some Disney+ users due to the simultaneous streaming demand.

Marvel Studios will be taking next week off but returns March 19 with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan.

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