Paul Bettany sure did get himself into trouble with “WandaVision” fans. Since late January, the actor has been touting a massive cameo in the Marvel series that would shock fans. Bettany’s tease ignited dozens of theories predicting which comic book character might show up, from Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange to Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier or Michael Fassbender’s Magneto. Then came the season’s penultimate episode, which included a post-credits scene that showed the birth of White Vision (played by Bettany). The scene left many “WandaVision” fans with the same question: Is the actor Bettany touted for weeks just himself? The answer is yes.
“You know when you think something is going to be funny and you say it and then you panic about it? That’s what I did,” Bettany said on “Good Morning America” ahead of the finale’s airing. “Fans started guessing who it might be. They were guessing people like Benedict Cumberbatch or Patrick Stewart. I was thinking, ‘God, that’s a good idea and they’re gonna be so disappointed when they find out it’s me.'”
Bettany first teased the surprise actor during an appearance on the “Lights Camera Barstool” podcast, saying the performer behind the cameo shares “pretty intense” scenes opposite his character, Vision.
“So many things get leaked, but there’s this thing that has been completely under wrap that happens,” Bettany said at the time, expressing excitement over the spoiler remaining a secret so far. “I work with this actor that I’ve always wanted to work with and we have fireworks together, the scenes are great and I think people are going to be really excited. I’ve always wanted to work with this guy and the scenes are pretty intense.”
Now we know Bettany was trolling fans and alluding to how the “WandaVision” finale will feature two times the Bettany as Vision and White Vision face off in a climactic battle. Unfortunately, many fans spent the last several weeks obsessively theorizing who Bettany was talking about. No wonder “WandaVision” director Matt Shakman warned fans this week that theory-obsessed viewers might be disappointed by the finale.
“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 told 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.”
The “WandaVision” finale streams March 5 on Disney+.