WandaVision successfully kicked off Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by showcasing the game-changing transformation of Wanda Maximoff into the Scarlet Witch. Wanda's transition into this new identity will no doubt change the landscape of the franchise like never before, with projects like Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home potentially being affected by the whole ordeal.
Aside from the arrival of the Scarlet Witch, WandaVision also introduced major figures in the MCU such as SWORD and Agatha Harkness. While the sentient organization is clearly doing its own thing somewhere in space, the debut of Agatha could provide hints about the ancient magic that lies beneath the history books of the MCU.
The Elizabeth Olsen-led project did include a glimpse of Agatha's backstory through the Salem Witch Trials. In many ways, this famous ritual was a visual treat in WandaVision, but a new tidbit from one of the crew members of the show revealed an alternate look at the sequence.
WANDAVISION SCRAPPED DESIGN REVEALED
WandaVision's VFX supervisor Ralph Maiers sat down with Polygon to talk about the recently-concluded Marvel series, and one of the topics that were discussed is the show's deleted scenes involving Kathryn Hahn's Agatha Harkness.
Maiers opened up by describing the process of designing Agatha's magic, admitting that they started out by “making her effects really wispy:”
“We started out by making her effects really wispy, we did some great concept art that Matt fell in love with. That’s really what awarded us the show — we sent him several different cool concepts. Our concept guy, Gaetan Borneuf, was the artist.”
Maiers revealed that each of the witches in the coven had their own color of magic, with every character having a slightly different visual approach.
Despite that, Matt Shakman, the series director, ended up deciding that it was “too much for the scene.”
Maiers then bared that the scene was slowly transitioning into “more about those witches than it did about Agatha,” so Shakman requested to “simplify” the actions of the other witches.
“Matt was really good at going ‘No, no, no, this isn’t gonna work, we’ve got to redirect. The scene became more about those witches than it did about Agatha. Their magic wasn’t servicing her story. So I think Matt was really smart in going, ‘This is not where I want to go. I want to make this all about Agatha, so let’s simplify what the other witches are doing.’”
Lastly, Maiers pointed out that Wanda has “very similar effects” in the series. Given that the character is the lead, the VFX head made her standout by incorporating effects that are “bigger:”
“And then we also had to think about Wanda as well, because Wanda has very similar effects later in the show. Our effects couldn’t be too big, because hers had to be bigger.”
Elizabeth Olsen believed that Wanda Maximoff "has a tremendous amount of guilt” as she secluded herself from the world after the finale of 'WandaVision.'
Kevin Feige explained that they had to cut Doctor Strange from the WandaVision finale because "it would have taken away from Wanda," revealing that they "didn't want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie."
Kevin Feige confirmed that a deal was finalized between Benedict Cumberbatch and Marvel to appear in the final episode of 'WandaVision.'
A DIFFERENT LOOK AT THE MCU'S SALEM WITCH TRIALS
Given the close ties of the infamous Witch Trials to Agatha, it makes narrative sense for WandaVision to include this specific plot point.
Based on Maiers' comments, trying to find the right mix of design that would fit the story that the show is trying to tell turned out to be a challenging phase, going back and forth on how to portray the magic of the witches that are involved.
The initial test of different color effects for the witches, as shown above, could've prompt more questions than answers, which is saying a lot for a mystery box-fueled show like WandaVision. Shakman's realization that it was “too much” was fitting for the narrative, considering that the main focus should simply be between the dynamic of Wanda and Agatha.
Meanwhile, Maiers' acknowledgment that Wanda's effects should be “bigger” was visually achieved in the finale, where the Hex of the character was noticeably larger than previous on-screen portrayals.
In a way, this makes narrative sense for the series to showcase Wanda's power set in that form, mainly because of her transition into the Scarlet Witch at the final moments.
Agatha's ability to steal magic from her fellow witches was a powerful moment in WandaVision, and it goes to show how dangerous the character is when left unchecked. It remains to be seen if Agatha will return down the road, but there's a good chance that she will, especially considering her close ties to Wanda in the pages of Marvel Comics.
All in all, this deleted scene is another example of the visual prowess of WandaVision, and it will be interesting to find out if other scrapped sequences will resurface.
WandaVision is now streaming on Disney+.