Doctor Strange writer defends Wanda’s heel turn from frustrated fans

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios' DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios' DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved. /

Wanda Maximoff is the best thing about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in part because her actions are so unexpected. Last we saw her in WandaVision, she was fleeing the scene of the crime after the residents of Westview were released from her spell. Don’t read further if you don’t want SPOILERS, but she turns up the heat another few notches in Doctor Strange 2

In Multiverse of Madness, Wanda goes full villain. She becomes obsessed with the idea of finding versions of the children she created for herself in WandaVision, and goes hunting for them in alternate dimensions. This brings her into conflict with a lot of people she has no problem murdering to get what she wants.

The heel turn surprised a lot of people, including actor Elizabeth Olsen. Writer Michael Waldron recently appeared on The Playlist podcast to talk about her shocking turn:

"I guess I would say to the WandaVision fans, like, I get it. Watching a character you love do bad things sucks. That elicits a strong feeling, which is what we’re trying to do in the movies. We never would have done it if it didn’t feel like the next step in her character journey. To me, my interpretation of the story of WandaVision was, that Wanda is confronting her grief in that show, but I don’t think she’s necessarily conquering it. It’s a show about her living in denial to some extent and she’s conquering her denial, but I don’t think that she’s properly reckoning with her anger over what she’s endured, and that anger is what she carries with her as she walks away with the knowledge that she is the Scarlett Witch and with the Darkhold, this evil book. And I think it’s that anger that the Darkhold preys upon and pushes her on what is a, to me and I think to Wanda, a very justifiable, noble journey. She just wants her kids."

Personally, I had a hard time accepting that Wanda would go as far as she did…but bad was such a good look on her that I didn’t really mind.

Elizabeth Olsen has felt “frustrated” by her Marvel commitments

Elsewhere, Olsen talked to The New York Times about how her commitment to Marvel has sometimes kept her from doing what she wanted with her career. “I started to feel frustrated,” she said about being locked in to a Marvel contract. “I had this job security but I was losing these pieces that I felt were more part of my being. And the further I got away from that, the less I became considered for it.”

Olsen has previously talked about how she couldn’t take a role in 2015’s The Lobster because she was locked into her Marvel contract. “It took me away from the physical ability to do certain jobs that I thought were more aligned with the things I enjoyed as an audience member,” Olsen told NYT. “And this is me being the most honest.”

That said, Olsen has obviously stuck with the MCU, signing on to do WandaVision after her original three-film contract with Marvel ended. “The power to choose to continue was important to me,” she said. “We thought what we were doing was so weird and didn’t know if we had an audience for it, so there was a freedom to it. There was no pressure, no fear. It was a really healthy experience.”

Wanda appears to die at the end of Multiverse of Madness, but in the world of comic book movies, death is easily reversed, and she would be open to doing another film. “But it really needs to be a good story,” she qualified. “I think these films are best when it’s not about creating content, but about having a very strong point of view — not because you need to have a three-picture plan.”

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