Elizabeth Olsen, the woman behind Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, has reflected on her character's journey in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—having all started thanks to her hate of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark.
When audiences first meet her character in the MCU, Wanda is a pawn of Hydra. From there, she filled the same role for Ultron, who has a shared hatred for Tony Stark.
Thankfully, she was able to change her path, eventually becoming an Avenger and moving away from the dark side. She even fell in love the fan-favorite android, Vision, who was promptly killed in front of her twice.
Wanda's way of coping with this was to create a fake reality by taking over the minds of an entire town. Things got further out of hand when she went on to become buddy-buddy with the Darkhold, leading to a murderous Multiversal rampage.
While previously talking about her character, Olsen noted that "from the beginning... [Wanda is] very clear in her beliefs," but how she'll "admit when she makes mistakes."
Sadly, Sue Storm of Earth-838 is still waiting on an apology about her spaghettified husband.
Wanda Has Come a Long Way From Her Tony Stark Hate
Thanks to MPower, a new special on Disney+ that celebrates the woman of the MCU, fans were able to see various creatives behind Marvel Studios talk about the long journey Wanda Maximoff has had. This included some words from the woman under the character's tiara, Elizabeth Olsen.
Olsen shared that, at one point and time, Wanda felt Tony Stark was "one of the worst people on Earth:"
“Wanda Maximoff is from a made-up Eastern European country called Sokovia, who lost both of her parents at a young age from a Stark bomb. So, she thinks that Tony Stark/Iron Man is one of the worst people on Earth and volunteers for a program that could do experiments on her to potentially avenge her parents’ death with her brother.”
Kat Dennings, who plays Darcy in the first two Thor movies, and the recent WandaVision series, noted that Wanda's tumultuous journey comes from "an immensely traumatic childhood" and her radicalization:
“Who is Wanda Maximoff? Very complicated answer. I think at the most simple, it’s Wanda came from an immensely traumatic childhood. She was radicalized and was given the power of the Mind Stone.”
The showrunner for WandaVision, Jac Schaeffer, recalled how in her first MCU appearance, she was "framed as this creepy, uber-powerful goth girl with telekinetic powers:"
“When we first meet Wanda in the movies, she’s part of HYDRA and she’s being experimented on in their facility with her brother. And she’s framed as this creepy, uber-powerful goth girl with telekinetic powers.”
Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore talked about the step after her radicalization by Hydra, where she then gets into leagues with Ultron, before ultimately "[realizing] that she's being somewhat manipulated:"
“But once she realizes that she’s being somewhat manipulated by Ultron, she changes her tune, and joins our heroes, and becomes part of the Avengers.”
Schaeffer then brings up how the heroine also lost her brother, who was "[Wanda's] last remaining tie to her humanity:"
"And then she loses her brother, who’s her everything. He was her last remaining tie to her humanity... “But she’s sort of able to keep moving forward, but not really at a full version of herself.”
Olsen added how it's after the death of Wanda's brother that "the Avengers becomes a surrogate family for her:"
“And so, the Avengers becomes a surrogate family for her. So she’s now processing a lot of grief and trauma that she has dealt with as a displaced person."
Marvel Studios casting director Sarah Halley Finn summed it up, noting that the character "has [had] a huge evolution," as the first time audiences see her, she's "a young, fragile girl, who's encouraged to seize her power:"
“We see her almost as a young, fragile girl, who’s encouraged to seize her power. It’s a character who has a huge evolution, and Elizabeth [Olsen] was the perfect person to play this, because she has such depth and complexity as an actress, and such vulnerability. But to see where the character’s gone, I honestly never could have imagined.”
What's Next for Wanda Maximoff?
At this point in the MCU, her hatred of Tony Stark is old news. That hatred has now been focused on the Multiverse in general for taking away her children—or at least that’s how she sees it.
But what's next for Wanda Maximoff?
Well, according to Elizabeth Olsen herself, "if [she] were to tell [fans] exactly what [she] would want [to do with the character next]," then it would "be spoiling something.”
It's clear she knows something—probably.
Thanks to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, her character seems quite connected to the MCU’s wider Multiverse Saga. With this in mind, one would think she’d have to run into Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror at some point.
When that might happen, however, is anyone’s guess. In-universe, Doctor Strange believes her to be dead—though Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has teased otherwise.
Perhaps Olsen could show back up in one of two different Disney+ series, Agatha: Coven of Chaos or Vision Quest, before going on to play a role in either of the upcoming two Avengers films.
It would also be nice for the MCU to further explore her grief over her brother Pietro's death. Given how she reacted when Vision died and her magically conjured kids were taken away, one might suspect she didn't much care about her sibling after all.
Until then, fans can relive Wanda’s most recent adventures, for better or worse, with WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which are both streaming on Disney+.