Elizabeth Olsen Reveals Why Wanda Is Weaker on Earth-838

By Pamela Gores Posted:
Wanda Maximoff, dead Illuminati members in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Marvel Studios kicked off its 2022 theatrical run with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, opening to resounding box office and audience reception success. This was, arguably, partially due to Elizabeth Olsen's return as the fully-fledged Scarlet Witch, who embraced the corruption that WandaVision's Darkhold had inevitably bestowed upon her as she went on a Multiversal rampage.

This bloodshed ultimately culminated in what Doctor Strange 2 presented as Earth-838 and its Illuminati group. This team consisted of Anson Mount's Black Bolt, Lashana Lynch's Maria Rambeau/Captain Marvel, Hayley Atwell's Captain Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor's Baron Mordo, John Krasinski's Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, and Patrick Stewart's Professor X.

Wanda in Earth 838

In short, all of these Marvel icons (minus Mordo) met their demise at the hands of Wanda Maximoff, who, among other things, turned the all-powerful group into mush, shreds, and halves. Audiences now have the chance to relive the massacre on Disney+ as Multiverse of Madness recently joined the MCU Timeline on the streaming service

Olsen made the fight between herself and each Illuminati member seemingly easy, but now, the actress revealed that Wanda was actually at a bit of a disadvantage when it came to this encounter. 

Elizabeth Olsen Justifies Wanda's Weakened State in Doctor Strange 2

During an interview with Marvel, Scarlet Witch actress Elizabeth Olsen discussed Wanda Maximoff's fight against the Illuminati in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Scarlet Witch Dream walking

Specifically, Olsen mentioned that she thought the match "would've been easier" and that the Multiversal group "put up more of a struggle than I expected:"

“Well, I thought that, you know, it would’ve been easier. They actually put up more of a struggle than I expected."

Olsen cited Wanda's dream walking as the source of her character's weakened state during the Doctor Strange 2 confrontation, comparing the Scarlet Witch's Multiverse tether to racecar driving:

"I thought it would’ve been easier, but the way we justified it being harder is because she’s trying to keep this physical connection inhabiting this other Wanda’s body. And so that to us was the limit, was that this is not the most well-tuned… if we’re doing a racecar [comparison]… I don’t know anything about racecars or cars. But if you had a bad car and a really awesome car, you can’t really win a race in a bad car. And so she’s not really in a tuned-up version of herself. And so that was why it created, actually, more of a challenge.”

When Is the Scarlet Witch at Maximum Strength?

Some fans might find it surprising that Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch actually wasn't at the peak of her powers when she slaughtered the Illuminati. This was not only some of the greatest displays of the character's powers, but it was also one of the most brutal sequences the MCU has ever depicted.

However, Olsen's explanation makes sense. Earth-616's Wanda had to keep herself bound to Earth-838's that entire time, plus before and after the fight. Keeping that tether strong throughout likely took a great deal out of the character; if Wanda was simply there without that line, she could maybe have taken the Illuminati out a la Darth Vader's neck-snap via the Force style.

It's also interesting to note how Olsen herself thought the fight would be easier, showing how much confidence she has in the Scarlet Witch and her abilities. Wanda Maximoff has already come a long way from her days at Westview, and there's no saying what she could do next—if she made it out alive, that is.

For now, viewers can relive the Scarlet Witch's brutality in all of its glory as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Pamela Gores
Pamela Gores is the Managing Editor of Copy and a writer at The Direct, where she's held these roles for over three years. A diehard MCU fan since 2012's The Avengers, she harbors an extensive appreciation for all things relating to Natasha Romanoff. Pamela serves as the main point of contact for all matters relating to editing and publishing at The Direct, maintains the staff's Writing and Publishing Guide, and helps implement all the latest copy rules, whether in-house or according to AP Style.