Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness writer Michael Waldron defends Scarlet Witch’s arc in the latest Marvel film.
Way back in early 2020, it was revealed that Spider-Man director Sam Raimi was in talks to take on Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness. Soon after, Loki writer Michael Waldron joined the project as its sole writer and the two crafted the recently released film. Now that the movie has been out for a few days, the writer has opened up about the movie’s creative decisions and has taken to defending one of its more controversial aspects.
SPOILER ALERT FOR DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS!
The advertising for the film was rather coy about revealing who the main antagonist of Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness was. The advertising seemed to indicate that Elizabeth Olson’s Scarlet Witch might be some kind of obstacle for the characters to overcome but it wasn’t entirely clear. As it turned out, however, she was the main antagonist of the film and racked up a body count that might be the second or third highest of any Marvel Cinematic Universe antagonist.
While speaking to Variety, Doctor Strange 2 writer Michael Waldron discussed Scarlet Witch’s transformation into the film’s antagonist and when it more or less happened in the development process:
“Sam and I came on in February of 2020. And initially, we were inheriting what the prior administration had been doing. And then COVID happened and our start date pushed six months. So he and I had the opportunity to essentially start over and say, “What do we want this movie to be?” And the foundational building block of starting over was Wanda should be the villain the whole way through. This should be a story of Doctor Strange protecting America Chavez from Wanda. So it was there from the very beginning, really, in what is the ultimate version.”
He later revealed that, at one point, Scarlet Witch wasn’t the main antagonist but as development went on it seemed proper to have her be the main villain from the get-go:
“Well, there was the version where she was more of — and I even did an earlier draft where she was more a member of the ensemble and turned bad by the end. And it always felt to me like it was just hedging. There was never a way to service her fall from grace properly as a supporting character in the movie because there had to be a separate antagonist. And it also felt like we were leaving the biggest bit of fun on the table for somebody else. And, truth be told, having watched and experienced and studied “WandaVision,” I felt like she was at the point, in possession of the Darkhold, where she was ready to break bad. She had reached that point that she reaches in comics, and that we could believably pull it off.”
Finally, the Doctor Strange writer opened up about the Scarlet Witch’s sudden fall from grace and how he felt it was built up to in WandaVision:
No, I don’t wish “WandaVision” had done anything differently. I wouldn’t change a thing about what they did. 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. I think that all of those hanging threads are the things that the Darkhold preys on when she gets the Darkhold from Agatha. You see in the final scene of “WandaVision,” that tag — the mistake that our Wanda makes is she opens the Darkhold. She starts reading, and I think it preys on her desire to have those children and have them for real this time. So yeah, that was how I arrived there. It made sense to me and it made sense to our teams because we built the story.
Here is the synopsis for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
The MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.
Directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Michael Waldron, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams, and Patrick Stewart.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in theaters now. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the film and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.