WandaVision was a beautiful look into grief and the pain that it can cause a person and how we can overcome it—and then came Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which seemed to take Wanda Maximoff’s (Elizabeth Olsen) growth in her own show and throw it out the window. It has, for the last year, not sat right with me, because of how much Wanda’s grief and her journey meant to me.
And it seems as if Elizabeth Olsen had some issues with the almost-repeat of Wanda’s arc—with less nuance—in Multiverse of Madness. Taking part in Vanity Fair’s video where Olsen rewatched scenes from movies and television shows she’s been in, she talked about the similar arcs between the two projects and how it changed how Olsen approached the role.
“It’s a similar arc in Multiverse of Madness that it is in WandaVision. There could be parallel stories being told there of dealing with grief and loss,” Olsen said. “Well, I proposed that to the writers who wrote Multiverse of Madness. I said ‘Do you know what we’re doing in WandaVision? Have you seen it?’ And no, they had not seen it because it wasn’t finished yet. So I had to try and play it differently. I had to attack the same themes in order for it to be interesting for me, I think, and potentially for the audience. I just had to come at it from a different point of view so that it wasn’t repetitive.”
Coming out of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was an odd experience. I emerged to find out that the Supreme Court was planning to destroy abortion rights by overturning Roe v. Wade, and I’d just watched as a female character who was the most powerful Avenger was reduced to her motherhood. It was a lot to process. Wanda has always been complicated, and she’s not a villain but an anti-hero. And I don’t love what Multiverse of Madness did with her because she was willing to kill America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) for some warped idea of bringing her twins back.
All of this had been explored better in WandaVision. We saw her struggle with her power, the world she’d created, and saying goodbye to her family—and then Multiverse of Madness just felt like a weird step backwards for exploring character and grief. It is an issue with larger universes that we see more and more of. With so many moving parts, there are moments when a character falls through the cracks, because one show is filming while another story is being written. And instead of all being together, it then results in a disjointed look at a character who means a lot to fans.
And that’s just how I feel about this situation. Not having the writers of Multiverse of Madness in on what Wanda’s arc was in WandaVision, when she was a major player in their film, just feels like a misstep. And I hope that the Marvel Cinematic Universe eventually does right by my girl.
(featured image: Walt Disney Company)
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