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Paul Bettany Confirms He Both Is And Isn't In Doctor Strange 2

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has Marvel Cinematic Universe fans speculating endlessly in the lead-up to its premiere date.

The long-awaited sequel to 2016's "Doctor Strange" brings director Sam Raimi back into the Marvel fold for the first time since 2007's "Spider-Man," and appears primed to significantly advance both Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wanda Maximoff's (Elizabeth Olsen) storylines — as well as expand further on the MCU's exponentially-widening multiverse plotline. Audiences got sneak peeks at what a multiverse might mean through the Disney+ series "Loki" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home," in which Strange's spell-gone-awry temporarily brings Spider-Man characters from other universes into the MCU, but the new movie appears to blow the metaphorical multiversal door off its hinges.

It's hard to say exactly who Strange, Wanda, Wong (Benedict Wong), and newcomer America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) may encounter in the multiverse beyond Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who turned villain at the end of the last "Doctor Strange" film. Patrick Stewart is confirmed to appear in some capacity, though the exact nature of his role has not yet been revealed; from there on, it only grows more and more speculative.

Wanda's presence in the movie should raise some eyebrows for discerning fans trying to imagine what could happen in the maddening multiverse, too. Olsen has taken something of a star turn for Marvel Studios as it re-tools in the post-"Avengers: Endgame" world, and the character is still reeling from losing Vision (Paul Bettany) to Thanos' crusade for the Infinity Stones.

Paul Bettany could not confirm nor deny rumors

When Paul Bettany recently appeared on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," the late night host made sure to ask whether or not Bettany filmed scenes for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Audiences last saw White Vision in the "WandaVision" finale, when he is revived by S.W.O.R.D. director Tyler Heyward (Josh Stamberg) and briefly fights Wanda's Vision before fleeing to an unknown location. White Vision remains out there, and it's possible that Wanda may still reunite with the android in the upcoming "Doctor Strange" movie. Bettany joked about being completely honest with Colbert throughout his interview, but in what's grown into expected behavior from MCU actors in recent years, he gave a vague answer as to whether he appears in the film.

"Yes, no, yes, no, yes, no. I don't know. Am I? What do you think?" Bettany replied (via YouTube). "I can neither confirm nor deny rumors that I am in said and aforementioned 'Doctor Strange 2.'"

Given that Andrew Garfield ruined fans' ability to take actors at their word during his 2021 movie press tours, Bettany seems to have effectively hedged both sides in this interview. Nobody should be surprised if Vision appears in the "Doctor Strange" sequel, given that the film appears to significantly advance Wanda's storyline that started in "WandaVision." However, the film sounds jam-packed as is, and it would not entirely shock if the character doesn't make the cut of a whole roster of potential Marvel characters Stephen Strange may or may not meet in the multiverse.