WandaVision marks the first time that Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff has taken a lead role in a Marvel Cinematic Universe project. First introduced in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, the character known in the comics as the Scarlet Witch has always taken a supporting role up until now, usually as a member of the Avengers team.
In a new interview, Olsen described her feelings upon first being pitched WandaVision and realizing that she would be the lead alongside Paul Bettany as Wanda’s doomed love interest, the Vision.
‘WandaVision’ is Elizabeth Olsen’s first lead role in the MCU
Olsen spoke about the early stages of WandaVision‘s development on the “Still Watching” podcast produced by Variety. The actor explained that she had grown comfortable with her lot in the broader MCU and actually enjoyed not having to bear the weight of the whole series’ success on her own. With that in mind, the pitch for her to lead her own series got a strong initial reaction.
“When Kevin [Feige] proposed this show I was completely freaked out by it because I know how many eyes are on these shows or films and it’s very intimidating,” Olsen explained. “It just became something I absolutely adored and loved. Because of the show, it made me love this character more than I ever had. It makes me feel like I have new ownership of her because of the time I got to spend creating this show.”
The events of WandaVision are expected to propel Wanda forward into further stories in the MCU’s Phase 4. Olsen is already confirmed to be reprising her role in a significant capacity for next year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. Given her history in the comics, it also wouldn’t be surprising for her to mix things up with the X-Men, once mutants make their way to the MCU.
Marvel believes Wanda and Vision are perfect characters for Disney+
Earlier, Feige stated that Marvel Studios looked to peripheral characters like Wanda and Vision when charting its plan for Disney+. At the urging of Disney, the hugely successful studio is looking to integrate its films and TV shows more than ever before, with stories debuting the streaming service leading directly into those of the theatrically-released films.
“Wanda and Vision are great characters from the comics that we’d only scratched the surface of in movies, played by actors who are so spectacular, and we’d only scratched the surface of what they could do,” Feige told Variety. “Putting the spotlight on those actors playing those characters was the primary reason to want to make WandaVision.”
Side characters taking the spotlight is a common theme across Marvel’s planned slate of Disney+ originals. They include Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier; Loki in, well, Loki; Clint Barton in Hawkeye; Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) in Secret Invasion; and, James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) in Armor Wars. Other characters being introduced via Disney+, like Kamala Khan from Ms. Marvel and RiRi Williams from Ironheart, are expected to make the jump and have a prominent role in future movies.
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