Marvel’s superhero movies make billions of dollars. Despite how much WandaVision has dominated pop culture these last few months (albeit after more than a year and a half without any Marvel Cinematic Universe content whatsoever), and even though it has likely driven at least some Disney+ subscriptions, the shows don’t and will not. That makes the movies a priority for Marvel over the shows…but not for Elizabeth Olsen.
In a great interview with Olsen and show creator/head writer Jac Schaeffer over at Variety, the actor who plays the Scarlet Witch explained how she prioritised WandaVision over the upcoming Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness movie:
I didn’t know my part in “Doctor Strange” until right before we got back to filming during the pandemic. We had two months left, and we’d filmed the majority of our show already. Really, I kew nothing until that moment when they pitched [“Doctor Strange 2”] to me verbally.
So I tried, as much as I could, almost less so to have it affect “WandaVision” as have “WandaVision” affect it. I think that’s really been where the connection is. It’s almost like we’re trying to make sure that everything is honouring what we did [on the show].
An actor who values a nine-episode TV series where her character is not only front and centre, but finally given the kind of emotional exploration the MCU movies have barely touched on, shouldn’t be surprising at all. What is surprising is how Olsen worked to make sure her role in the high-profile movie was affected by the events of the significantly lower-profile show, as opposed to vice versa.
However, it’s difficult to tell what that entailed because I suspect Olsen is referring to where Wanda is at after her emotional journey of accepting Vision’s death, rather than making sure her vastly improved magical powers will be recognised in the movie, or something similar. Since Schaeffer confirms that work on the Doctor Strange sequel had been long underway when she pitched WandaVision, I would think Wanda’s role had already been defined, even if the details of the story were still being ironed out. Olsen revealed:
There are multiple versions of all [post-credits] tags in Marvel world. So that’s good to know, because that was the conversation, should we or should we not hear the boys [while she was reading the Darkhold]. That I believe has enriched her humanity and has now become more informative of the character she continues to become.
This also sounds like Olsen is referring to how it’s going to affect her performance in Multiverse of Madness more than the plot, which, while important, is going to be a much more subtle change for audiences than her vastly improved magical powers and amazing outfit.
The interview is a great, informative read, and well worth your time. But if you need any other evidence of how much Olsen values WandaVision over Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, here are her comments on Evan Peters coming aboard as the “recast” Pietro:
I didn’t know about the multiverse when we were filming this. So I wouldn’t assume that that’s what was happening. I thought it was just a clever way to have a Pietro. I didn’t understand the larger plan of the multiverse until I started working on “Multiverse,” or whatever our movie’s called, the “Doctor Strange” sequel!
The movie that Elizabeth Olsen hasn’t bothered to learn the title of despite starring in it is currently set to premiere in March, 2022. Honestly, I don’t blame her a bit.