Why Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Lost Her Accent In Doctor Strange 2 Trailer

Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Elizabeth Olsen
By Tom Drew

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the next theatrical outing on Marvel Studios' slate, kickstarting the MCU's 2022. Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff is set to be one of the film's co-leads, joining Stephen Strange as they traverse the Multiverse to meet new and familiar faces. Fans have been treated to a few breadcrumbs ahead of the release, including a teaser poster, telling merchandise, and a first look provided by Spider-Man: No Way Home's post-credits scene.

Wanda Doctor Strange 2
Marvel Studios

The Scarlet Witch is seen at various points in the trailer, living a cottage core lifestyle on her lonesome and seemingly summoning something in another scene. One aspect of Wanda's character that is noticeably different is the lack of her Sokovian accent, which has been picked up by fans online.

So why is it gone? Here are a few explanations that may solve the case of Wanda's missing accent.

Accent Improvement

WandaVision accent MCU
Marvel Studios

Developing the accent is one of the most difficult aspects of learning a new language. Matching the nuances of a native speaker takes time and is certainly something that Wanda has been working on throughout her MCU tenure.

Marvel Studios has actually been showing Wanda's progression with her intonation across the movies, with Elizabeth Olsen adjusting her performance along the way. Scarlet Witch starts off with a strong Sokovian accent in Avengers: Age of Ultron only for it to mellow out as the films go on.

Growing up around American sitcoms would have helped her early on, and moving to America to live around other American Avengers would have taught her a lot about how to adapt her voice. The Russo Brothers even specifically asked Olsen for this when filming Captain America: Civil War, wanting to make Wanda's accent softer since she has been living stateside.

Wanda's accent prior to the Multiverse of Madness trailer does still flit from one to the other, though at certain points. Agatha even points this out in WandaVision, teasing Scarlet Witch over the fact that her "accent really comes and goes." So why would she be reverting the way she talks?

Code-Switching

WandaVision accent
Marvel Studios

Code-switching is a linguistic circumstance where a speaker alters the way they speak to accommodate or in response to the conversation or situation, which is often predominant in multilingual individuals.

Wanda Maximoff may be employing that here, using her American accent more when she's around native English speakers to better assimilate into American society.

It seems that Wanda's Sokovian voice also comes out more when she is stressed, angry, or threatened, which is seen in WandaVision when Scarlet Witch confronts SWORD Director Hayward outside of Westview and again when Wanda confronts Agatha about her missing children.

As Scarlet Witch is in a relatively relaxed environment in the Doctor Strange sequel's trailer, she likely feels more comfortable and is therefore able to ease into her American accent. As she is also talking to a British man playing an American sorcerer, Wanda is using her American voice to better fit in. 

Another Hex

WandaVision Wanda
Marvel Studios

There also could be a supernatural explanation for Wanda's missing accent, as there often is when the MCU is involved.

In WandaVision, Elizabeth Olsen's character goes through a variety of American accents as she traverses sitcom eras in her Hex. However, when exiting the Hex to face Hayward, her Sokovian accent returns. The Hex allowed Wanda to become her ideal self: a character in the American sitcoms she grew up with. 

Perhaps Wanda has created a new Hex for herself, which still gives her the ability to present herself the way she wants. This might be hinted at in the post-credits scene of WandaVision too, where Scarlet Witch is astral projecting a version of herself. This other self could be the version she wishes to present to others, while the real Wanda with her Sokovian accent is toiling away at trying to find her sons.

There is a potential snag in that Wanda's Sokovian cadence returns at certain points inside of the Hex, namely when Agatha Harkness captures her. One possible explanation for this is that Agatha's dungeon is a part of her hex that has been corrupted by Agatha's magic, so it is therefore an area where Wanda has less control over herself and her surroundings.

Where Is Wanda's Accent In Doctor Strange 2?

WandaVision Doctor Strange 2
Marvel Studios

According to Elizabeth Olsen, Wanda hasn't completely forgotten her Sokovian accent in Multiverse of Madness, as "she goes back to an accent that’s more true to her" following the events of WandaVision. While the accent isn't seen in the brief clip from the trailer, there will likely be other opportunities for it to return.

This doesn't explain why Wanda is using an American timbre while speaking with Doctor Strange, but perhaps the accent's whereabouts in this scene will be elaborated on in the movie.

Fans can find out whether Wanda's Sokovian accent will make a reappearance after all when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres in theaters on May 6, 2022.

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