‘Doctor Strange 2’: Elizabeth Olsen Talks Wanda’s Turn to Villainy

SPOILER ALERT: This story discusses the main plot points of Marvel StudiosDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, currently in theaters. Don’t read until you’ve seen the movie.

Pretty much from the moment Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige announced that Elizabeth Olsen would star in the Disney+ series”WandaVision‘, he also made it clear that the events of that show would tie in with Olsen’s later appearance as Wanda Maximoff in the feature film ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.’

What did Feige do? not reveal – and what Disney carefully covered up in its marketing for the film right up to its release in theaters – is that Wanda doesn’t show up as Strange’s compatriot in “Multiverse of Madness”: she’s the bad guy.

At the end of ‘WandaVision’, Wanda fully accepts her identity as the Scarlet Witch, one of the most powerful bearers of magic in the universe. But she must also release her grip on the city of Westview to free its citizens from mind control. In doing so, she abandons her children Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne), who can only exist within Wanda’s magic spell over Westview.

In ‘Multiverse of Madness’ we learn that the loss of her children – coupled with her lengthy study of and exposure to the Darkhold, a book of corrupting dark magic – has driven Wanda into an all-consuming fixation to find a way back. to her boys. That leads Wanda into a relentless pursuit of America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a teenage girl with the power to travel across the multiverse. Wanda wants to take power from America so she can be in a universe where her boys still exist, but that would kill America in the process. So Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Wong (Benedict Wong), and the rest of the wizards of Kamar-Taj choose to protect America and stop Wanda.

Big mistake. Huge. With Wanda in full control of her powers as the Scarlet Witch, she kills virtually everyone in her path to America, including the Illuminati, a team of superheroes on an alternate Earth, including Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier and Hayley Atwell as Captain Carter.

In the hands of master horror director Sam Raimi, it’s terrifying to watch. It was also controversial for some fans who struggled to match the regretful Wanda at the end of “WandaVision” with the Scarlet Witch from “Multiverse of Madness”, willing to wipe out the lives of anyone who stands in her way.

It turns out that Olsen was one of those people — in the beginning. In an interview with Variety, she discusses her surprise when she learned of Wanda’s turn on the dark side, how she accepted it, and what the most challenging scene was for her to play. (Hint: It’s about Wanda’s boys.)

What was your reaction when you heard that Wanda was the villain of the movie?

Um, well, I knew I’d be in “Doctor Strange”, but I thought I’d be in an ensemble thing. So at first I think I was nervous and confused because I hadn’t finished “WandaVision” yet, but we were almost done. And I thought, “Oh my god, how do I make this all work together?” We are here; I got there. And it became a great opportunity to win people over by having this woman in “WandaVision” and feeling for her, and then, you know, manipulating them in this movie, where they get on her side and then get confused yourself. So I thought that was a great opportunity.

You’ve said in the past that you worked to make sure this movie lived up to what happened in “WandaVision.” What specifically did you find necessary for the film to have that connection?

There were just beats that I felt were almost too similar as opposed to reflective. I just wanted everything to feel like some version of progress, even if the progress is someone feeling a different response to the pain and loss. We also didn’t see her react to what happened in Westview. Even if we have seen her go through trauma and loss, we have not seen her go through the loss of the children. I think for any parent – I assume because I’m not one – losing the child would always be much harder than losing someone else important in your life. I just wanted to make sure it was a constant evolution forward and not repetitive. So it was just minor adjustments. I couldn’t do any major changes because of sets being built and stuff like that. And schedules were made, albeit in flux. But hey, I was trying to figure out how we don’t repeat ourselves? How do we create an evolution? How do we make this different, but still part of the woman we know?

How did it feel to kill all those characters? I mean, I’ll never get over the image of you cutting Patrick Stewart’s head.

I – I was – I also had to kill more. I had a hard time with it. I was like, these are people and is Wanda okay with ending their lives? But I just had to put my shoulders to the wheel and think all these people are in her way and she warned Doctor Strange not to get in her way. And he did. He didn’t listen. And so I just had to look at it from that point of view.

Was there a scene that you found particularly challenging to play?

I think the hardest part was – I know we’re doing this interview after it’s released, but I still get anxious talking about it without spoilers. But there’s a moment when I have to crave for people I love, and that was a tough scene. One of the people I love – the little people I love – threw things at me on stage and accidentally hit my face really hard. And that was the best response. And I felt so bad that I used it as an actor and let it know how I reacted to these people I love. Because they were terrified afterwards. It was really something I didn’t enjoy at all, but I knew it would be good for the scene.

Given the ending of this movie, do you expect to return to the MCU?

It’s weird that I expect to return, but no one told me I’m doing anything! But in my mind I just assume they’ll have me again. I don’t know in what capacity, but I hope I’ll be back. I hope there is more fun to be had in something else as well. Where are we going? I feel like we’ve done so much with her. It’s been a really wild couple of years with her.

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