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Doctor Strange 2’s Sam Raimi teases multiple Wanda variants for the sequel

Published Apr 7th, 2022 10:19PM EDT
Doctor Strange 2 poster
Image: Marvel Studios

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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is less than a month away, and Marvel is already selling tickets for the movie online. The sequel will focus on Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), but it will also give Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) a chance to shine after the events of WandaVision. Speaking to Fandango, Doctor Strange 2 director Sam Raimi detailed the kind of characters we’ll see in the movie, reminding us there will be different variants for each hero, including Wanda.

That’s not necessarily a big reveal for a movie with the word “multiverse” in the title. However, it’s important to remember that the MCU’s main Avengers will surely interact with their variants from other universes. We’ve already seen teasers of that in the trailers and TV spots that Marvel has released. But Raimi’s comments are especially relevant for Wanda’s character arc. Remember, however, that spoilers might follow ahead.

The studio also released two new TV ads instead of a genuine Doctor Strange 2 trailer 3 that deliver additional bits of information about the plot. That includes a teaser for the film’s big twist, which some fans might not like. Wanda will be one of the film’s main villains.

Is Wanda evil in Doctor Strange 2?

Wanda is one of the most popular Avengers out there, so it’s understandable why some fans might be apprehensive about the idea of the Scarlet Witch being evil. Or a villain. But, no matter how much you’d love a character, seeing them turn evil won’t ruin that character.

Wanda’s descent into madness started well before the events in Doctor Strange 2. As we saw in WandaVision, all the suffering Wanda experienced came to the surface. Overwhelmed with grief, she conjured a perfect world by enslaving an entire town. That’s the kind of action you wouldn’t expect from an Avenger, especially one who had to deal with nefarious activities.

Let’s remember that Wanda was an antagonist in Age of Ultron. Even after becoming an Avenger, she scared the world with her powers, triggering the infamous Sokovia Accords in Civil War.

Wanda in Doctor Strange 2 clip.
Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and her children in new Doctor Strange 2 footage. Image source: Marvel Studios

Like back then, Wanda hasn’t suffered any consequences after the events in WandaVision. If anything, she became even stronger now that he morphed into the Scarlet Witch. Add to that the Darkhold, and you have a recipe for villainy that should be explored in Doctor Strange 2.

As we saw earlier this week, Wanda’s kids will reappear. That might be enough for Wanda to crack under pressure again. Her desire to save them will make her do unspeakable things. That’s what a big Doctor Strange 2 plot leak said, one that the current trailers seem to have verified.

Even if the Darkhold is ultimately responsible for Wanda’s evil deeds in Doctor Strange 2, she’ll still be a villain for part of the story.

Wanda and her children in Doctor Strange 2 clip.
Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and her children in Doctor Strange 2 clip. Image source: Marvel Studios

The multiverse and the variants

That’s where Sam Raimi’s interview with Fandango can come in handy. The director did not reveal any big plot details or Doctor Strange 2 cameos. But he reminded MCU fans of an important thing to consider when watching the movie. We’ll see multiple variants of these characters. Some of them will be good; others will be evil. The same goes for Wanda.

The movie is a journey into the multiverse, so you do see different iterations of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, and even Lizzie Olsen’s character of Wanda Maximoff. So, the actors have to play that. It’s a great challenge for them and great fun to direct them playing these altered versions of themselves.

Expanding on that, Raimi also said that Wanda isn’t necessarily more powerful than Doctor Strange. There are Wanda variants that could beat Strange, and Wanda variants that would be no match for the sorcerer:

If you were to pit them against each other, different altered versions of themselves … there could be a Doctor Strange out there that’s more powerful than our Wanda. Or there could be a Wanda out there who is more powerful than our Wanda here. So, because of these altered versions, it’s all a mixed bag of possibilities.

Asked who he considers the villain of Multiverse of Madness, Raimi dodged the question skillfully by focusing on the multiverse. Having to pick between Strange, Wanda, Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), or even the multiverse, Raimi had this to say:

There’s iterations of our characters throughout the multiverse. So, if I were to say Strange … I’m not really supposed to answer this question, but I might be saying altered Strange. Same with Wanda and Mordo. But I would say, at different times, all of the above.

Will we see Wanda after Multiverse of Madness?

Strange and Wanda talking about Avengers and the multiverse
Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) talking about Avengers and the multiverse. Image source: Marvel Studios

Some MCU might fear that a trip to the dark side means that Wanda will meet her untimely death. Villains often perish in these movies. However, the multiverse angle that Raimi highlights gives us a potential answer. We have multiple variants of the MCU characters that are available to Marvel.

Even if Wanda were to die after Doctor Strange 2, and Raimi or the leaks never said that would happen, Marvel could use a different, milder variant from the multiverse.

There’s already precedent for that. We have a different Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and a different Gamora (Zoe Saldana) in the MCU. The originals died in Infinity War. And America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) is coming to the MCU from a different reality. That’s something Raimi also confirms in the trailer. There’s no reason not to have a different Wanda continue the Scarlet Witch story if the MCU variant were to die.

That’s all speculation, however. We’ll have to wait for the movie to find out what happens to Wanda. But rumors do say that other Wanda projects are coming to the MCU after Doctor Strange 2.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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