Warning: This article contains spoilers for WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
The screenwriter of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has defended the villain arc of Scarlet Witch. The sequel, which hit theaters on May 6, 2022, is the first film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year and acts as a direct follow-up to the 2021 projects Spider-Man: No Way Home and WandaVision. After his experience accidentally sending villains from previous Spider-Man universes into his own world when a spell he cast for Peter Parker goes wrong, Doctor Strange is sent on a multiversal adventure with new teen heroine America Chavez (Xocitl Gomez) when Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) targets her to steal her ability to hop between universes.
The reason Scarlet Witch, also known as Wanda Maximoff, wants these powers is so she can access a universe where she is reunited with her children Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne). As revealed in the Disney+ series WandaVision, these children were an imaginary creation of Wanda's when she was wracked with grief over the loss of Vision, leading her to create a sitcom-inspired faux world inside the town of Westview, New Jersey where she and Vision were married with children. At the end of the series, she faced her grief head-on and reversed the spell she had put on the town and its inhabitants, so seeing her take such a villainous turn in Doctor Strange 2 was challenging for some viewers.
During an interview on The Playlist's Discourse Podcast, screenwriter Michael Waldron reacted to fans' negative feelings about seeing the terrible measures that Wanda takes in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. He understands that watching a beloved character be a villain is challenging and provokes deep emotions, but eliciting "a strong feeling" is exactly what filmmakers are trying to do. While she did let Westview out of her clutches in WandaVision, Waldron says "I don't think she necessarily resolves her grief in that show," so all that sadness and anger has been channeled in this new direction. Read his full quote below:
I guess I would say to the WandaVision fans, like, I get it. Watching a character you love do bad things sucks. That elicits a strong feeling, which is what we’re trying to do in the movies. We never would have done it if it didn’t feel like the next step in her character journey.
My interpretation of WandaVision is that she confronts her grief and she lets go of the people she has under her control, but I don't think she necessarily resolves her grief in that show, and I don't think she resolves her anger. Maybe she's able to say goodbye to Vision, but I think she's really just fallen in love with those kids.
Although WandaVision did provide Scarlet Witch with some amount of closure with her love for Vision, Waldron is correct that the show didn't leave everything resolved. In fact, the post-credits sequence of the series showed Wanda studying the Darkhold, the evil spellbook that she would go on to channel in Multiverse of Madness. Her actions in this film were the logical next step in the arc set up for her, even if they're not to the taste of every audience member.
Regardless, it makes sense that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has to face this criticism from fans of WandaVision. Scarlet Witch has been through so much since her introduction as a villain in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron and subsequent reform. Seeing her slip back into her old ways feels like a betrayal for some fans, but the former Avenger still has the opportunity to make her way back to the side of good, as this likely isn't the last MCU project she will appear in.
Next: Doctor Strange 2's Thanos Defeat Totally Undermined The Illuminati's Fate
Source: The Playlist
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