Paul Bettany has gone wild. By Marvel standards, anyway. Despite the studio's notoriously tight grip on spoilers and leaks, the WandaVision actor let a huge clue leak on the Lights, Camera, Barstool podcast.
"So many things get leaked, and people find out about certain things, but there’s this thing that’s been kept completely under wraps that happens," Bettany said. "I work with this actor that I have always wanted to work with, and we have fireworks together. The scenes are great, and I think people will be really excited. I’ve always wanted to work with this guy and the scenes are pretty intense."
So who is this mystery character? Well, we know the actor is male because of the "this guy" wording, so that narrows the possibilities by half. We also know Bettany hasn't worked with him before, so that rules out anyone who previously shared the screen with Bettany. So who could it be? Let's dive in.
What remains are three schools of thought regarding this mystery: this character could be a minor/old Marvel character brought into a new phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a sitcom legend brought into tie the Marvel tone to the idyllic sitcom theme, or a complete stranger to both genres who is still a big name enough to get Paul Bettany to want to work with him.
While the third option is impossible to speculate on, here are nine options as to who these "intense" scenes can involve.
9. Ian McKellen
Pros: Ian McKellen is the first name that comes to mind when you think of "iconic actors who aren't technically in the MCU." Though he's a huge legend, his inclusion in the X-Men franchise excludes him from WandaVision's canon — and crucially, working with Paul Bettany. Magneto is known in the comics as Wanda's father, so this inclusion feels like a shoo-in.
Cons: Seems perfect, until you realize Paul Bettany worked with Sir Ian in The Da Vinci Code. So unless 15 years is long enough for Bettany to consider it "forever," this popular theory is debunked.
8. Kelsey Grammer
Pros: In the Venn diagram of "Marvel" and "sitcoms," the overlap is WandaVision and Kelsey Grammer. Another X-Men alum — there are going to be a lot, fair warning — Grammer appeared on Cheers as psychologist Dr. Frasier Crane until he was given his own equally beloved sitcom, Frasier. Plus, his trademark bravado was made for the MCU.
Cons: If Kelsey Grammer were to be brought into the Marvel canon, it would be as the Beast character he's known as, and that appearance just wouldn't mesh with the show.
7. Elliot Page
Pros: Elliot Page is a strange case of Marvel casting. While he played Kitty Pryde in the X-Men franchise, the MCU has completely changed since then, and so has he. Unlike Grammer, Page could appear as a separate character than the one he played in X-Men as a fresh start to reflect his own new perceived identity. It would also add some LGBT representation into the MCU, a huge deal for such a big franchise.
Cons: Elliot's got a full plate working on The Umbrella Academy, and if the X-Men are brought into canon later, the Kitty Pryde thing could be quite the plot hole.
6. Evan Peters
Pros: Evan Peters is a television franchise veteran, and his inclusion in WandaVision as Quicksilver would be potentially huge, hinting at the MCU recasting of Pietro Maximoff (played in Age of Ultron by Aaron Taylor-Johnson).
Cons: Bettany made it clear that this huge reveal was something that hasn't been leaked at all, and the Evan Peters/WandaVision connection was previously made by renowned leaker Murphy's Multiverse.
5. Patrick Stewart
Pros: You can't mention Sir Ian McKellen without mentioning Sir Patrick Stewart. Unlike McKellen, though, Patrick Stewart has never worked with Paul Bettany, making him the prime candidate for a huge reveal crossover. After all, Bettany did mention something about how the reveal will make viewers "look at the MCU in a whole new light."
Cons: Professor X doesn't have as close of a relationship with Wanda like Magneto. Plus, Patrick Stewart is already helming his own Star Trek spinoff, Picard, so his dance card may be full.
4. Dick Van Dyke
Pros: The first episode of WandaVision was basically a love letter to The Dick Van Dyke Show. The team behind the series revealed they consulted with Dick Van Dyke before filming began, could that lunch have included a job offer as well?
Cons: Well, Dick Van Dyke is 95 years old, so he may not be up to the so-called "intense" scenes that Bettany describes. Also, if this reveal is something "nobody has leaked before," does that include the show's own publicity interviews? It's semantics but this may be a bridge too far.
4. Michael Fassbender
Pros: One Magneto was ruled out, but luckily there's a spare. Fassbender's past iteration of Magneto could easily pop into Wanda's world, especially if it's not on this plane of reality.
Cons: A young Magneto would involve a lot of timey-wimey explanations that may not be feasible for WandaVision's tight half-hour runtime.
3. Richard E. Grant
Pros: Richard E. Grant is a mystery to Marvel fans now, but that won't last long. This iconic character actor best known for playing General Pryde in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker landed a role in upcoming Disney+ series Loki and has been waiting in the wings ever since. Due to his background in comedy, introducing his character in WandaVision would be the perfect way to tease interest into the new show.
Cons: If REG were featured in WandaVision in such an earth-shattering role, his character may have been teased as appearing in both this series and Loki back when his involvement was first announced.
2. Hugh Jackman
Pros: Well, first, he's Wolverine. That certainly would be a huge reveal that would shape the way we see the MCU. Secondly, there's evidence of a missed connection between him and Paul Bettany. Bettany reportedly was in talks to play Inspector Javert in Les Miserables, but (unfortunately) the role went to Russell Crowe instead. Could the quote just be Paul being excited to work with the co-star who got away?
Cons: Hugh Jackman seems like he's donned the adamantium claws for the last time, moving on to big musicals like The Greatest Showman and The Music Man. But maybe the genre-bending nature of WandaVision is enough to assure at least a cameo.
1. Bryan Cranston
Pros: Bryan Cranston is a perfect thematic fit for WandaVision. While he got his start in sitcoms like Seinfeld and Malcolm in the Middle, his role in Breaking Bad changed television as we know it. The team behind WandaVision also cites Malcolm in the Middle as one of their influences, so nabbing the breakout star of one of its key inspirations would be a no-brainer.
Cons: Cranston may be too high-profile for a Disney+ streaming show, as evidenced by his multiple Emmy and Tony awards. Still, there are more high profile actors in the MCU in general, and WandaVision may be the perfect ticket in.
WandaVision is now streaming on Disney+.