While the comic books originally envision Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as the mutant offspring of Magneto — though, apparently that’s now not the case — Avengers: Age of Ultron saw Wanda and Pietro Maximoff receive their abilities through Baron von Strucker’s experiments with the Mind Stone, one of the six Infinity Stones. Visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend, as it turns out, wanted to pay homage to this new origin for the film.
Cinema Blend spoke with Townsend over the phone ahead of the film’s DVD and Blu-ray release, specifically in regards to Wanda. She introduces something we’ve never seen in the MCU yet: magic. First, we asked whether Wanda’s abilities are just a taste of the magic to come in next year’s Doctor Strange. Though Townsend said he doesn’t know what’s going on with that film, he did confirm a connection between the visuals for Wanda and the Infinity Stones.
When asked whether the red energy accompanying her telekinetic and mind-altering powers is meant to mimic that of the energy from the Infinity Stones, Townsend said this was no coincidence.
In the comics, Scarlet Witch has the ability to alter reality and probability to suit her needs, but in the film, she can move objects with her mind, read the thoughts of others, and alter their perceptions of reality. This change better suits the character’s new origins, as well. The Mind Stone forces individuals to succumb to the holder’s will by altering their perception, as well as firing blasts of energy.
You can tell the visual similarities by comparing footage of the two in action. Though, Wanda’s magic also takes similar cues from the Tesseract, Aether, and Orb.
Pietro’s abilities also have a similar style. In a behind-the-scenes featurette on the film, Townsend mentioned how they examined a number of blur motions to conceive Quicksilver’s movement. Elizabeth Olsen, who portrays the new Avenger, spoke at length about working with a professional dancer to learn her character’s unique physical vocabulary of attack, but it’s clear that "The Twins" have been touched by the Mind Stone.
Avengers: Age of Ultron hits DVD and Blu-ray on October 2, though you can purchase the film now as a Digital Download.