17/05/2022

Doctor Strange 2: What Is Wanda’s Future in the MCU?

What is Wanda Maximoff’s future after Doctor Strange 2? It’s currently one of the most hotly-debated questions about the Marvel Cinematic Universe following the opening weekend of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The sequel made some pretty divisive choices about Scarlet Witch‘s story arc – as well as her fate in the series. The debate over whether or not Doctor Strange 2 treated Wanda the right way after Elizabeth Olsen’s Emmy-nominated work in WandaVision is ongoing, but Marvel Comics lore has presented several clear paths for her MCU Future.

(WARNING: Doctor Strange 2 SPOILERS Follow!)

Is Scarlet Witch Alive or Dead?

(Photo: Marvel Studios)

The first thing we need to address about Wanda’s future in the MCU: is she even alive to have one? Scarlet Witch ended up coming to her senses after several dimensions worth of slaughter, and she took on the heroic act of destroying the Darkhold in every reality. To complete the job, Wanda had to destroy the original writings of the Darkhold, which were carved into the walls of Wundagore Mountain. Wanda seemed to choose to go down with the proverbial ship as the mountain crumbled – but is she really gone?

For her part, Elizabeth Olsen is already saying that she doesn’t think her work as Scarlet Witch is done yet:

“It’s weird that I’m expecting to return but no one’s told me I’m doing anything,” Olsen told Variety. “But in my mind, I’m just making the assumption that they’ll have me again. I don’t know to what capacity, but I hope I’m back. I hope there’s also more fun to be had in something different. Where do we go? I feel like we’ve done so much with her. It’s been really a wild couple years with her.”

Same Wanda – or New Witch?

(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘s entire purpose was to open the door of the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse to fans and let us know what it is truly all about. The film also made a distinct point of showing us how many variants of characters are out there – and how wildly different they can be. Scarlet Witch was one character who clearly has some powerful variants spread across the multiverse, so the Wanda who went murderously rogue in Multiverse of Madness is not necessarily the one we have to (or want to) get back.

As was made clear in the Illuminati sequence of Doctor Strange 2, the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises are coming to the MCU. The Multiverse (and an inevitable reboot of it in MCU Secret Wars) is the clear path for eventually integrating X-Men and F4 into the Avengers reality of the MCU, and Scarlet Witch is a character with just as many X-Men comic book ties as she does Avengers connections.

That’s all to say: there are plenty of MCU fans who want to see Elizabeth Olsen return as a version of Scarlet Witch who is a mutant and the daughter of Magneto like in the comics. And from the sound of it, Olsen may want the same:

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“I want to know what fans want, and what the ideas are. But I guess you just said it — if we’re bringing X-Men back, I’ll want to be there,” Elizabeth Olsen told CinemaBlend. “But I have no actual plans yet. I am very excited to talk with [Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige] about that at some point.”

So Much Wanda to Choose From

(Photo: Marvel Studios)

In the comics, Scarlet Witch became a universal threat when she re-wrote all of reality according to her personal whims (elevating her family and mutants’ cultural status) in the “House of M” storyline. Wanda would later cause the near-genocide of mutants by willing the X-gene (nearly) out of existence, in the event known as “M-Day.” Since then, Wanda seemingly died several times and came back (even killing herself); lost her memory and ended up with Doctor Doom; and even had her status as a mutant and daughter of Magneto retconned so that she and Quicksilver were experimental breakthroughs of the High Evolutionary, and her true family (the Maximoffs) included the previous Scarlet Witch.

To be honest, a lot of fans feel like Wanda’s Marvel Comics storyline has been something of a mess of failed ideas and restarts. That said, all of the material above holds the potential to bridge us into exciting new chapters of both the MCU and Wanda’s story. So whether Wanda is a focus of that upcoming Young Avengers story arc, gets reintroduced as a mutant in X-Men, or gets deeper into her witchy side in something like House of Harkness, we’ll take it.

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…And, thanks to all the variant games in Doctor Strange 2, we could arguably get all of the above.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is now in theaters.