Paul Bettany as Vision

Is Vision Coming Back in ‘Doctor Strange’ 2?

I just want him and Wanda to be happy!

**UPDATE! Now that the movie is out, check out our update at the bottom of this post!**

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Anyone who loves comics knows that death is only ever a temporary inconvenience. Uh-oh, did your favorite character die? No worries! They’ll pop up in an alternate universe, or be rebuilt as a robot, or emerge from a black hole, or be resurrected using black magic. The MCU has already proven that it can bring characters back from the dead whenever it wants. Loki, for instance, has died a whopping five times already—he’s fallen into a black hole, gotten stabbed, been choked to death, gotten pruned by the TVA, and watched one of his variants get eaten by Alioth. Now Vision is starting to rack up his own death count, with two deaths in as many minutes in Infinity War, and another one at the end of WandaVision. Pretty good, but if he’s going after Loki’s record he’s got to up his game. Might Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness be the perfect place for him to make an appearance?

In case you’re a wee gnome who lives under a rock and hasn’t yet heard about Multiverse of Madness, here’s a crash course. Coming on May 6th, Doctor Strange’s second solo outing will feature him undoing the damage he did in Spider-Man: No Way Home, when he inadvertently tore a bunch of holes in the fabric of the multiverse. Doctor Strange will likely butt heads with the Illuminati, led by Patrick Stewart’s Professor Xavier, along with Baron Mordo, his former friend turned enemy. Strange will have a few allies by his side, though. Joining him will be America Chavez, who has the power to punch holes through different realities, and Wanda Maximoff, now known as the Scarlet Witch. It’s Wanda’s story arc in Multiverse of Madness that might give Vision a way back into the MCU.

The Ballad of Wanda and Vision

To understand why Vision could make an appearance in Multiverse of Madness, first, we have to unpack what exactly happened the last time we saw him, in WandaVision. WandaVision takes place in a small New Jersey town called Westview, just weeks after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Wanda, stricken with grief over Vision’s death, goes to a plot of land that Vision bought for the two of them. Her chaos magic manifests, and she unwittingly transforms the entire town into the setting of her own personal sitcom, where she and Vision star as the main characters.

For a while, Wanda doesn’t question how exactly Vision has come back to life. However, as S.W.O.R.D. and the witch, Agatha Harkness, start to meddle in Wanda’s “hex,”—which, to be fair, is using Wanda’s mind control powers to enslave a few thousand civilians—the artifice starts to break apart. Vision notices what’s going on and becomes suspicious. He realizes that he doesn’t have any memories of his life before Westview, and he relies on S.W.O.R.D. consultant Darcy Lewis to fill him in on his time as an Avenger.

WandaVision ends with a double twist. First, we learn that S.W.O.R.D. has been using the real Vision’s corpse to build “White Vision,” a mindless and weaponized version of the original. Then, we learn that the Vision in Wanda’s Hex was born from a part of the mind stone that entered Wanda when she was exposed to it in a Hydra experiment. In the series finale, as the two Visions meet each other, Westview comes down with a case of…double Vision. (I’m sorry, I had to.)

In Vision’s final battle with his other self, he poses a thought experiment known as the Ship of Theseus. If the Ship of Theseus is gradually replaced, plank by plank, until no part of the original ship remains, then is it still the Ship of Theseus? And furthermore, Vision suggests, adding his own twist on the classic thought experiment, if the original planks are reassembled somewhere else into an exact replica of the first ship, then which is the original?

What Vision means to say is that, in a way, aren’t both of them the original Vision? Then he interfaces with White Vision, giving the duplicate access to all his original memories, and White Vision flies off to some undisclosed location to start working through them all.

The end of WandaVision is heartbreaking. Wanda shuts down the hex in order to free the people of Westview, and “her” Vision fades along with it. But before he does, he reassures Wanda, telling her that since they’ve said goodbye before…

Wanda finishes his sentence, “We’ll say hello again.”

With that last line, and White Vision flying around somewhere out there, Marvel is practically screaming that Vision will return at some point.

Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen in Marvel and Disney+'s WandaVision
(image: Marvel)

Wanda’s Role in Multiverse of Madness

At the very end of WandaVision, we hear the voices of Billy and Tommy, Wanda’s children, calling for help somewhere in the multiverse. Presumably, finding them will be her primary objective next time we see her—which will be in Multiverse of Madness.

The most interesting aspect of the trailers, in terms of Wanda, is her return to Westview. In one brief shot, we see two Wandas in her Westview living room, one comforting the other. It’s not yet clear if Wanda will find her kids in Multiverse of Madness, but the movie looks like it’ll definitely continue her current story arc, in which she’s not only dealing with the grief of losing Vision and her family, but the pain of now being seen as a villain, and the corrupting influence of the Darkhold. Honestly, in many ways, Wanda’s story is a lot richer than Stephen’s, and the trailers are promising that she’ll get plenty of screen time to explore it.

Having Vision return to her in some way, whether he manifests again from the part of the mind stone that lives in her head or drops in on her as White Vision, would help her begin to heal from all the trauma she’s endured. Plus, if she finds Billy and Tommy, the four of them being able to start a life together (that’s not dependent on a hex) would give her story some beautiful closure.

That All Sounds Lovely, but Where’s Paul Bettany?

All right, here’s the bad news: last we heard, Paul Bettany announced that he hasn’t been contracted to appear in any more Marvel movies yet. In an interview with The Playlist, Bettany said:

Oh no, no. I don’t have a contract. I don’t know that. I don’t know that at all. And all that I do know is, as far as this sort of traunch of press goes, it’s for an Emmy push, which is for a limited series. So it doesn’t look like that happening again. I mean, I guess it would be difficult to introduce White Vision and not deal with him in some way, but we have not discussed that.

But then again…actors have been known to deny involvement in Marvel projects before, sometimes vehemently. After all, Marvel loves to keep its secrets! So will Vision appear in the MCU again? If he does, will it be in Multiverse of Madness?

UPDATE: Does Vision Show Up in Doctor Strange 2?

Bad news for Vision fans: Paul Bettany’s Vision did not end up making an appearance in Doctor Strange 2.

When Stephen meets up with Wanda in her secluded orchard, he finds out that she’s the “demon” who’s been trying to capture America Chavez. When Stephen asks Wanda what she wants with America, Wanda says that she wants to go find a reality where she can be with her children.

Weirdly, she doesn’t mention her husband.

Or, well, she does mention Vision at one point. She tells Stephen that she blew a hole in the head of the man she loved, “and it meant nothing.” This is, of course, a reference to Wanda destroying the mind stone in Vision’s head at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, only to watch Thanos resurrect Vision so that he can tear out the stone and kill him again.

But, for some reason, Wanda doesn’t seem to have any interest in being reunited with him. All she talks about is Billy and Tommy, the sons she created in her hex and who exist in other realities. Vision’s absence gets even weirder when Wanda dreamwalks into her Earth-838 body and finds herself in her suburban home with Billy and Tommy. Sure, it’s totally plausible that she could be a single mom, but since it was her love for Vision that led her to create the hex in the first place, it’s just very strange that she doesn’t even wonder if he exists in this new reality.

Ah well. White Vision is still out there somewhere, so hopefully we’ll see him again someday.

(image: Marvel)


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Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>