In the many Marvel multiverses, it’s difficult to keep track of all the iterations — especially if you haven’t seen the many (many) MCU installments.
“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” director Raimi recently told Rolling Stone that even he did not watch all of Disney+ series “WandaVision” before helming the film follow-up (in theaters May 6) involving Wanda Maximoff aka the Scarlet Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen.
“I never even saw all of ‘WandaVision’; I’ve just seen key moments of some episodes that I was told directly impact our storyline,” Raimi said. “I’m not really sure what the ‘WandaVision’ schedule was or how it changed. I just know that halfway, or maybe three-quarters of the way into our writing process, I’d first heard of this show they were doing and that we would have to follow it.”
However, for “Doctor Strange 2,” Raimi was committed to “a proper throughline and character-growth dynamic” for Olsen’s Wanda. But actress Olsen’s decade-long portrayal of Wanda led her to steer the comic book character’s trajectory during shooting.
“Marvel’s truly a very collaborative space, and we’re constantly being put with other directors and other writers,” Olsen told The Independent. “So they actually do listen when you go, ‘I don’t know, in ‘WandaVision,’ we did this so I don’t think it really makes sense for us to do this then here.’ And Sam Raimi would just be like, ‘Great, I’m glad you explained that to me.'”
She added, “That happened a lot on ‘Doctor Strange 2’ because there was this thread I was trying to pull on ‘WandaVision.'”
“Doctor Strange 2” began production soon after “WandaVision” aired in January 2021. Olsen noted that she was hoping to keep Wanda’s storyline as consistent as possible and curb any MCU continuity issues between franchises.
Still, that storyline has not been without its detractors. Vulture took issue with Wanda’s “Doctor Strange 2” arc for being “utterly sexist.”
IndieWire critic David Ehrlich noted that Wanda is “stuck in a rut despite the witchy nuance” of Olsen’s stellar performance. “The character [is] hopelessly facile in the face of a story that transcends reality itself,” Ehlrich said. At least someone understood the assignment!