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What the changed ‘WandaVision’ ending really means

If the ending to ‘WandaVision’ changed, we have to ask ourselves two questions: Are MCU changes fluid? And have more changes been made?

Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff in “WandaVision.”
Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Tommy (Jett Klyne), Vision (Paul Bettany), Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah parris) in “WandaVision.”
Marvel Studios

“WandaVision” has been changed and altered. The version you watched earlier this year is gone. Marvel has pulled the rug out from under you — and it has huge consequences for what’s to come next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel projects moving forward.

Over the weekend, fans noticed the original version of “WandaVision” had changed. In the original version of the post-credits scene, the camera zooms in on a cabin in the middle of nowhere amid mountains and some trees. We see Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) sitting alone on the cabin steps, drinking tea and looking very grief-ridden. The tea kettle whistles so she heads inside to grab more tea. But then the camera reveals the true Wanda — now under the moniker of the Scarlet Witch — using her dark magic. The version of her sitting outside is merely a projection.

The new version of the scene is mostly the same as far as that part goes. But it has some minor changes to it — literally changes you probably wouldn’t see if you didn’t read this article. For one, there are more trees in the open wilderness outside of the cabin. There’s also a floating shape in the background, which looks a little like a cape — and fans believe it to be Doctor Strange in his “astral form.” And then, on top of that, the end credits added “Doctor Strange Theme,” by Michael Giacchino — which wasn’t there before.

We know “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will connect with “WandaVision,” so those changes fit. It’s unclear whether or not Disney+ or Marvel made these changes on purpose, or if it was some editing mistake.

One possibility — the changes could be a real-time change spawned by Loki, according to ComicBook.com’s Brandon Davis. That’s right. The theory suggests that Loki and Sylvie from “Loki” have been messing with the timeline, which could change other Marvel productions, including “WandaVision.” That could mean that Loki is changing the timelines in real time, and we’re now discovering the fluidity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Indeed, the MCU could keep changing.

Is this the future of streaming content?

Let’s take a second here to consider what this means outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What does this mean for us, as real people, doing real things? It means that Disney+ — or any streaming service company — can change or alter any content at any time. They can add a deleted scene. They can freshen up the colors of a poorly lit scene, or they can replace one shot with another. Directors can tinker with dialogue. The possibilities are endless. Like a filmmaker uploading a movie to YouTube, a Marvel director could — in theory, though probably not always in practice — reupload another version of “The Avengers” to fit their liking. I mean, isn’t this what we just saw with the “Justice League” movie coming to HBO Max? The four-hour Snyder Cut — as well as the black-and-white version — are full director’s cut versions of a film that we would have never normally seen. We can see more and different versions of our favorite movies.

But more importantly, this shows us that movies are, in a way, fluid.

Let’s say the “Loki” theory is true and that Loki messing up the timeline allowed these little changes to happen in Marvel Cinematic Universe films. This means, in theory, all of the MCU films could be vulnerable for change. This means you could be rewatching “Iron Man 2” and see a scene you never saw before, or notice a character’s hair color has changed. You could be watching “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and discover that John Walker is now just Jon Walker. See the subtle difference there? There could be a new character lingering in the background. Or a scene you remember is gone because Loki’s new timeline made it so the event never happened.

This is the future of cinema and streaming content in the future. It gives us another reason to go back and watch a movie or series. If Marvel came out tomorrow and said Loki’s acts ended up making subtle shifts across the MCU, wouldn’t you want to start rewatching the series? I know I’d be down for a 61.5-hour movie marathon. Wouldn’t you be a little interested to see what Easter eggs there were? What movies were affected? There’s a limit, of course. It’s not like Marvel Studios can refilm a ton of old scenes and add new ones back in. But moving forward, they could film two or three alternate versions of things and work them into a remixed version.

Marvel is only the beginning. There’s a cinematic universe out there just waiting to use this concept. Imagine having an entire library of content. And then there’s a time travel change made on one show or film, and it impacts older films and movies? Suddenly, you have remixed and newer version of the classics. For a company, that screams dollars and bags of cash. Imagine a world in which you own three versions of “Captain America” — one where he has brown hair, one where he has gold hair and one where he is bald.

I’m not saying this is happening right now with the “WandaVision” changes. But the changes do give us an idea of what’s possible. We’ve already seen the signs of it with “Justice League” and its newer releases. You can watch the original theatrical release, the Snyder cut and the black-and-white version. Three different versions of one movie.

And that’s only the beginning. So keep your eyes open, dear readers. You never know what changes may come next.