By Eammon Jacobs / @EammonJacobs
With the arrival of the Disney+ streaming service, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is going to focus on characters in ways that haven’t been possible so far in the space of a two-hour world-saving blockbuster.
One of the most intriguing projects in the line-up is WandaVision, with both Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany returning as Scarlet Witch and Vision.
Don’t worry, the question has already popped up; how will Vision come back considering Thanos ripped the Mind Stone from his head? The answer may have been secretly seeded in huge news also concerning a certain Sorcerer Supreme, since Scott Derrickson confirmed that Scarlet Witch will have a role to play in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness when it arrives on 7th May 2021.
Since WandaVision is slated for spring 2021, this could be a perfect one-two multi-versal punch. Alternate timeline? Different universe? It is all possible.
But given that the main villain of the first ‘genuinely scary‘ Marvel film is going to be Nightmare (who rules over the Nightmare Realm in the Dream Dimension), it’s not out of the question that Wandavision might be a product of Wanda’s own distorted dreams.
Especially considering that Olsen recently mentioned that during a Disney+ launch chat; a photo showed Scarlet Witch and Vision in the 1950’s…
Perhaps WandaVision mostly takes place in a dreamlike-state where Wanda is imagining a somewhat idyllic life for herself, complete with a recreated version of Vision. Think Fight Club, crossed with Twin Peaks, with a slice of The Matrix for good measure.
It’s easy to make the leap from this picture-perfect family idea to 2015’s The Vision by Tom King. The paranoid android artificially creates a robotic family for himself in a quiet suburb, but the family face extreme prejudice and discrimination from their neighbours.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Marvel cherry-pick elements from King’s work into WandaVision.
When speaking to IGN about which villain he’d like to bring into the MCU next, Derrickson suggested this interesting concept:
We decided not [to use Nightmare in the first Doctor Strange film] because that’s a bit of a complex idea to try to introduce everything we do introduce, and introduce the idea of nightmares themselves as being a dimension. I hope somewhere down the line we do get to explore that because I think that’s a super cool concept.
If Nightmare does take advantage of Wanda’s hex powers to create this sickly sweet Americana-dimension, it would take a talented Sorcerer to pull the conflicting realities apart and fix these multi-versal problems.
Luckily, there’s one on 177A Bleecker Street who has experience with this sort of thing.
Kevin Feige undoubtedly has some surprises up his sleeve for the Disney+ shows, so it’s not impossible that Benedict Cumberbatch could briefly appear as a way of segueing into the Doctor Strange sequel.
Derrickson showcasing Nightmare’s prowess as a devious, soul crushing dream-leech who’s preying on one of the strongest Avengers really would prove to the audience just how big the stakes are from the get-go.
But here’s a tantalising thought; picture Wanda’s hex powers combined with Doctor Strange’s magical abilities during a fight, it would be a visual treat for fans. That’s assuming that they’re even on the same side.
Just to stick with our speculation, if Doctor Strange barges his way into Wanda’s idyllic dream-world, she’s not going to take too kindly to him trying to take her loved ones away from her, again. A fight between them could be viscerally fantastic.
But as comicbook writer B.J. Mendelson mentioned when he took to Twitter to speculate on her role, there could be something even more nefarious at play.
Will Scarlet Witch fall back to her Age of Ultron roots and become a villain once again? After all, looking at everything she’s endured only points her towards the ultimate tragic backstory.
Her parents were murdered by American missiles (built by Stark Industries no less), her brother was shot by a murderous robot and her android lover’s brain was ripped out by a ten-foot tall, intergalactic warlord.
Let’s not forget that the entire world is terrified of her powers and imprisoned her for being too much of a threat by the end of Captain America: Civil War.
However, seeing Scarlet Witch turn into just a simple moustache-twirling villain wouldn’t do her justice at all. We’ve seen her difficult journey this far, and Olsen expertly conveyed Wanda’s pain in a single line during Avengers: Endgame; ‘You took everything from me’.
If after being deceived into thinking her loved ones were alive again, it could easily be the straw that breaks the Witch’s back.
Just for a minute, remember Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Baron Mordo in the first Doctor Strange adventure. By the end of the origin story, Mordo had become disenchanted with sorcerers and magic users, vowing to change that in any way he could to restore the natural order of things.
Surely Derrickson and Feige wouldn’t leave him out of the sequel after such a promising role with one of the most talented actors around?
If he meets Scarlet Witch, how would he react? With disdain at first of course, but his intelligent diplomacy could sway her to see things from his perspective.
Comicbook readers will probably be familiar with House of M, where Scarlet Witch whispers ‘no more mutants’ and there’s a monumental societal shift. Humans become the underclass, and mutants are the upper class across the planet.
If Baron Mordo shows up again, it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that the pair would attempt to put the world to rights with their combined magical strength.
Essentially it all boils down to the fact that Scarlet Witch is one of the most underused characters in the MCU, and it’s about time she is given her chance to shine.
Feige has already stated that she could take Thanos down by herself; just look at her big moment in Endgame, Thanos had to wipe out most of his own troops just to stop her assault.
Giving her such a prominent role across the next phase of both TV and film shows that the team behind the cinematic tapestry have faith in Wanda, and rightfully so.