Stan Lee was Marvel Comics’ biggest pitchman, but Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, knows how to say something compelling while not giving away anything. Feige and co realize they have a real movie star in Elizabeth Olsen, but their character, Wanda Maximoff, belongs on TV shows like WandaVision. The big screen isn’t nearly big enough to accommodate the multitude of Scarlet Witch.
The latest hint at Olsen’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe came from Feige in a profile recognizing her accomplishments. He mentions that he would work with Olsen for “100 years” if he could, and that the MCU hasn’t even touched on many of her character’s best stories. When asked about her death at the end Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Feige confirmed what eagle-eyed Marvel fans were spotting. “I don’t know if we saw them under rubble?” he said. “I saw a tower coming down and a little red flash.” With an added “I don’t know what that means,” viewers are left with an obvious but funny lie. He effectively confirmed that the Chaos Magic Party will continue in the MCU.
Olsen herself said she would return if the story was true, adding unless the X-Men are involved, and then she’s in it whether they want her or not. However, Marvel Studios should continue to include Wanda in their features as a supporting character or antagonist WandaVision has proven that her stories belong on TV.
WandaVision is the blueprint for a nuanced, satisfying Scarlet Witch story
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was the most straightforward of the MCU series and was originally intended to debut first. The circumstances of the pandemic led to delays and thus WandaVision was the introduction to the MCU on Disney+. Whimsical and wonderful, it captured the zeitgeist just as much Avengers: Endgame or a Spider-Man movie. Unlike those films, it sustained this massive attention for seven weeks.
At about six hours total, the storytellers were able to parody sitcoms, foster fan understanding of The Blip, and guide Wanda through the stages of grief in a heartbreaking way. As in the Sam Raimi film, Wanda was the “villain” of the story, but not as naked and for no apparent reason. Whether from narrative sloppiness or sheer time pressure, the two-hour Doctor Strange-centric film just didn’t have the space to tell Wanda’s story the way it was meant to be told. TV does.
Scarlet Witch can be both a main and a supporting character
Perhaps the most interesting thing about it WandaVision in relation to Doctor Strange 2 is that it must be displayed. Technically, the film is a sequel to 2016 Doctor Strange Directed by Scott Derrickson. But if fans have seen it and Avengers: Endgamedon’t watch WandaVision they lacked a central narrative element. The film made almost a billion dollars at the box office, so it worked. This makes Elizabeth Olsen an even more marketable movie star, Marvel Studios or otherwise. No matter what the studio did with a Scarlet Witch feature film, Olsen would be an outstanding performance in the film. But do the storytellers really want to dig up Wanda’s character and narrative potential there? Disney+ gives them the space to do this in a way that delivers both the MCU spectacle and the all-too-real moments of quiet, brutal emotion.
It’s possible that both Wanda and Olsen can have their film and television appearances as well. The Coming Agatha Harkness: Circle of Chaos could very well include some time with the character. Still, an ideal world for Wanda Maximoff fans is for her to appear in the MCU films on the big screen while also directing a solo TV series, giving Elizabeth Olsen all the space she needs to become The Scarlet Witch to make a fully realized character.
All of Elizabeth Olsen’s appearances as Wanda Maximoff can be found in the MCU titles streaming on Disney+.