Elizabeth Olsen Calls Out Doctor Strange 2's Problematic Script Changes

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness, Elizabeth Olsen

Elizabeth Olsen admitted that she had to stop reading drafts of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness script due to its constant changes. 

Doctor Strange 2 went into a tedious behind-the-scenes overhaul after director Sam Raimi replaced original filmmaker Scott Derrickson in the sequel

In November 2021, Doctor Strange 2 began a round significant reshoots - some reports claimed that this was due to actor availability and pandemic-related matters, yet some fans feared that this was an attempt to remedy some story-related issues.

Moreover, America Chavez actress Xochitl Gomez also confirmed in July 2022 that reshoots completely changed how the movie started, with the original opening sequence featuring Defender Strange actually saving America instead of betraying her and trying to steal her Multiverse-jumping powers.

Elizabeth Olsen Reacts to Doctor Strange 2 Script Changes

Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange Multiverse of Madness

In an interview with Josh Horowitz, Scarlet Witch actress Elizabeth Olsen revealed that she "just stopped reading drafts" during Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' production after a problematic trend arose where the script kept changing:

Horowitz: "How much did what I saw of Doctor Strange 2 resemble the initial script you saw of Doctor Strange?"

Olsen: "It resembled more than I thought it was going to. I mean, there were definitely moments where... there's a point in making the movie where I just stopped reading drafts."

Olsen summarized her frustrations in jest, calling it "a wild ride:"

"I was just like, 'This is going to change again. Just keep me posted with the information I need and you guys fill in the blanks that you need. But I'll just keep my lane...' That one was a wild ride."

In January 2021, Olsen commented on Doctor Strange 2's script changes, saying that "it's always an evolution:"

“We always are changing, right? Because we’re always giving notes and they are very kind to welcome opinions and thoughts, and so it’s always an evolution even while you’re filming. We definitely have a script, but when I was told I would be in it, I had no idea what it was gonna be. I just knew I was gonna be in Doctor Strange 2. And it wasn’t only until before we even went back to finish WandaVision during the pandemic that I found out what I am doing in Doctor Strange 2."

In a previous interview this month (May 2023), Olsen revealed that the writers of the Doctor Strange sequel hadn't seen WandaVision

"It’s a similar arc in 'Multiverse of Madness' that it is in 'WandaVision.' There could be parallel stories being told there of dealing with grief and loss. Well, I proposed that to the writers who wrote 'Multiverse of Madness?' [laughs]. I said, ‘Do you know what we’re doing in 'WandaVision'? Have you seen it?’ And no, they had not seen it ’cause it wasn’t finished yet."

As a result, the MCU actress explained that she had to "attack [some of] the same themes" from the Disney+ series in the sequel and "come at it from a different point of view so that it wasn’t repetitive:"

"So I had to try and, I don’t know, play it differently, right? I had to attack the same themes in order for it to be interesting for me, I think, and potentially for the audience. I just had to come at it from a different point of view so that it wasn’t repetitive.”

How Script Problems Didn't Affect Elizabeth Olsen's Performance

Elizabeth Olsen's latest comments suggest that she had enough of Doctor Strange 2's problematic script changes during production. 

From an actress' perspective, it is understandable due to the fact that it might've been exhausting to channel different energies for the character that she is going to portray. 

Still, the actress' passion and love for the Wanda Maximoff character managed to elevate her performance despite the changes, serving as one of the bright spots of the sequel according to fans and critics

It remains to be seen when Olsen will eventually return as the Scarlet Witch in the MCU's future, but hopefully, when she does, she won't be affected by more script changes. 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.