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Why Scarlet Witch’s Powers Looked Different In WandaVision Than They Did In The MCU Movies

Costumed Scarlet Witch using her powers in WandaVision

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While we’re now watching The Falcon and the Winter Soldier unfold on Disney+, plenty of people are still thinking about the streaming service’s first original Marvel Cinematic Universe series, WandaVision. Following years of appearances in ensemble movies, Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany’s Vision finally took center stage in a story that followed Wanda Maximoff dealing with all the trauma from her life, particularly losing her android lover. By the time all was said and done, not only had Wanda reached the acceptance stage of dealing with her grief, her powers had also changed in a major way.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with WandaVision VFX supervisor Tara DeMarco, and among the things I asked her about what what efforts went into making Wanda Maximoff’s powers look different in the series compared to what we’d seen in past MCU movies. Here’s what DeMarco had to say:

Wanda’s magic in the show was similar to the movies up until the point where Agatha says, ‘This is chaos magic, Wanda.’ And then we developed a darker look for that chaos magic. We wanted it to be made of the same magic that we saw create the house and create Vision, and then that came into the magic in her hands. And that was a development with the director, Matt Shakman, talking about what he wanted to see. It should be darker and richer and a little bit more powerful because she’d grown into the power.

In case you already need a WandaVision refresher, up until the events of the series unfolded, it was believed that like with her brother Pietro, a.k.a. Quicksilver, Wanda Maximoff gained her powers when she was exposed to the Mind Stone during HYDRA’s experiments. But in reality, Wanda was born with the ability to harness Chaos Magic, and while the Mind Stone unlocked and amplified her psionic abilities, it wasn’t until her time in Westview that Wanda realized her true potential, especially following some pushing from Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha Harkness.

So while Wanda Maximoff was warping reality to play out her sitcom fantasies for the majority of WandaVision’s run, it wasn’t until Agatha Harkness dropped that bombshell revelation at the end of the show’s penultimate episode that Tara DeMarco and the VFX team made a concerted effort to make her powers look different from what audiences had seen before. The darker and richer color of the energy she conjures signifies how much Wanda, now officially known as the Scarlet Witch, has come from when she first arrived in Westview.

It also means that WandaVision’s VFX team was able to leave their mark on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as that’s where we’ll see Elizabeth Olsen reprise Wanda Maximoff next, and you can practically guarantee she’ll use her boosted powers in that movie. There’s still no official word on how Scarlet Witch fits into the Doctor Strange sequel, but the last moments of the WandaVision series finale saw Wanda studying the Darkhold and hearing her sons call for help. So it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that when she crosses paths with Stephen Strange, Wanda might be using her chaos magic to find Billy and Tommy.

Should you want to rewatch WandaVision, or maybe you didn’t catch it the first time around, the series is available in its entirety on Disney+, which you can sign up for using this link. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will cast its spell in theaters on March 25, 2022, and head over to our upcoming Marvel TV shows guide to learn what else the Mouse House’s streaming service has coming up on the MCU front.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.