‘Avengers 2′: Elizabeth Olsen Talks Scarlet Witch Powers & Role Research

Published 1 year ago by

Scarlet Witch by AdamHughes Avengers 2: Elizabeth Olsen Talks Scarlet Witch Powers & Role Research

Marvel Studios continues to have a good year, with both Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World showing bigger box office earning than their respective pre-Avengers predecessors, and that success train is likely to keep rolling right on through Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014, before Avengers: Age of Ultron comes to shatter the records of ITS predecessor in 2015. 

Besides the introduction of the titular evil robot (to be played in motion-capture by actor James Spader), Avengers 2 will also introduce (at least) two new superpowered characters in the form of brother/sister duo Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). And while Quicksilver’s super-speed is known to all, the nature of Scarlet Witch’s abilities in Joss Whedon’s mega-sequel has been something of question – and a potentially pivotal one, at that.

First off: While at the press junket for Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake, Olsen outright confirmed (what we already knew) by owning up to playing the role of Scarlet Witch. But having the character in the Avengers universe is a tricky thing, since her usual backstory and powers (mutant daughter of X-Men villain Magneto, reality-altering “hex” powers) are actually owned by Fox, not Marvel Studios, and ergo can’t be used in Avengers 2.

Avengers 3 Infinity Gauntlet War Thanos Avengers 2: Elizabeth Olsen Talks Scarlet Witch Powers & Role Research

If you’ve been following our recent Marvel Movie reporting, you know that the events of Thor 2 set up a storyline that could culminate with Thanos in Avengers 3 - while also explaining how Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver get their unique powers. It’s an issue that fans are both curious and worried about at the moment; but for Elizabeth Olsen, it’s all about just keeping focus on the character, while having fun in the big, bad Marvel sandbox.

When asked how she plans to ground a character like Scarlet Witch – as opposed to the real-world  characters she’s mostly played:

Elizabeth Olsen: The same way, I think! I actually feel really good that I just did a play because it requires so much imagination, you know? To acknowledge the fact that all these people are here, but you’re making up this room that your in that you’re not in, or whatever…

So far I’m just doing a lot of reading right now on Scarlet Witch and it’s really exciting. But the imagination, like to a child, and like running around in a play yard is what it feels like right now. And that sounds like so much fun, but you still want to approach it with the same kind of like ‘No, this is where she’s from,’ and it’s real. And that’s what’s fun about it. Let them put on the costume or do the special whatever-they-need-to-do to make it look special, but I’ll just do my part – it just has more extreme things to it. [Laughs] I’m like really excited about Scarlet Witch.

Avengers 2 Elizabeth Olsen Scarlet Witch powers Avengers 2: Elizabeth Olsen Talks Scarlet Witch Powers & Role Research

Elizabeth Olsen

Asked to elaborate, Olsen expressed excitement about aspects of Scarlet Witch that she’s learning from the comics:

Elizabeth Olsen: The most recent thing I learned – I don’t even know if it has anything [to do with the film], it’s just fun to read these comics – it’s just so fun! Like, she’s a ‘nexus,’ like she’s the only human being from this universe who can communicate with paranormal things and the past and the future and other universes; like to me that’s pretty incredible! [Laughs] Like just thinking about that is amazing! To touch things and know where they’ve been, that’s crazy!

Avengers 2 will be written by Joss Whedon, whose track record for creating female characters speaks for itself (Buffy, Dollhouse) – but the excact powers he’ll endow Scarlet Witch with remain a mystery for now. The director has commented on the issue in the past, stating the following:

Joss Whedon: “Besides the fact that I grew up reading them, their powers are very visually interesting. One of the problems I had on the first one was everybody basically had punchy powers. [Quicksilver]’s got super speed. [Scarlet] can weave spells and a little telekinesis, get inside your head. There’s good stuff that they can do that will help sort of keep it fresh.”

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver 570x294 Avengers 2: Elizabeth Olsen Talks Scarlet Witch Powers & Role Research

It’s hard (from a continuity standpoint) to have a character who can alter reality on a whim running around your universe; by the same token, it’s hard to sacrifice an actress of Olsen’s talent and rising fame so early in the franchise. And since “mutant” is an illegal word in the Marvel Studios continuity, the source of Scarlet Witch’s powers will have to make sense within the franchise storyline – especially if she’s sticking around for that Avengers 3 showdown we predict.

What kind of Scarlet Witch would YOU like to see in Age of Ultron? Reality-alteration? Telekensis? Some other interpretation?


OldBoy will be in theaters on November 27, 2013. Stay Tuned for more coverage from the press day.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.

Scarlet Witch Header by Adam Hughaes

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. I expect they’ll simply have been “born with” their powers.

  2. IMO, i think her powers will be, in some way, connected to one of the infinity stone (gems). Possibly introducing an infinity stone each franchise after “Thor: The Dark World”

    • Yeah, the Reality Gem pretty much is a stronger version of her reality-altering powers, so it makes sense.

    • So then how does her brother end up with his powers? Wouldn’t it be a coincidence if two family members end up getting different powers in two different ways? Or if she gets her powers and then gives him powers, why couldn’t she start giving more people powers?

      I guess I’m seeing some angling for her powers to be connected to the infinity stones, but I’m skeptical. I remember when her powers were simply “hex” powers that were unpredictable and simply caused something to happen. Later they expanded on this of course, but I’m kind of hoping they keep it simple with SW for her first time out at least.

      • Joss never said anything about her normal powers in his interview. He instead mentioned things like telekensis which she never had. I don’t think she is going to be the witch we know…but instead some plot device witch he can introduce and play with her powers so she can be the “no punch power” person on the group.

        • I’ve seen the interview and I think his description was informal and geared towards general audiences. I don’t take it as gospel. He just said, “weave spells and a little telekinesis.” Those are just things most people watching a late night talk show can grasp easier than saying “hex powers.”

          • Absolutely 100% agree. Fans want to get so literal and detailed in their dissection of a simple interview. He was on Jimmy Fallon in that interview which was prefaced by Fallon saying he had never heard of either character. It was his way of saying 90% of the audience had never heard of them either. So Joss used language Mom and Pop would get. Everyone knows what casting spells and telekinesis are. And, in fact, before she got all world-changey, that is exactly what the Scarlet Witch’s original hex powers LOOKED like: some spell-casting and telekinetic chaos. Whedon is not going to start saying ‘the ability to cast hexes that alter probability fields which developed into the power to alter the fabric of reality itself’. Average people at home would be like, “Huh?”

        • Her powers originally were just her throwing her hands out and causing objects to fall and/or break (mostly). That could easily be described as “weaving spells and a little telekinesis.”

          I don’t know anymore than anyone else, but I have to think that having the origin of her powers be connected to the infinity stones, that raises a lot of questions of why her, and then how did her brother get his powers.

          My guess is that they are simply born with their powers, and that she just causes stuff to happen and her powers make her emotionally fragile (explaining her brothers protectiveness). Now, will her powers later come into play against the magic of any stones. I’d be surprised if they didn’t.

        • He was talking to a non-comic book audience. Fanboys need to stop acting like they are so smart when they keep saying dumb things. Hex power “appears” like telekinesis, does it not?

      • If they do choose to go the Infinity Gem route, then Quicksilver getting the space gem would be the obvious choice. It’s the same gem Thanos took from the Runner in the Thanos Quest mini-series, that allowed him to sometimes “reach a destination before he realized he’d started running”. Maybe the explanation could be the siblings exposure to the gems developed and amplified hidden latent talents they had, which would allow them to retain powers without the gems later on.

        That said, while Marvel foolishly gave FOX license on the word ‘mutant’, I don’t see how that should apply to not allowing people to be born with powers entirely, as long as they don’t specifically refer to them as mutants. In this case they could also potentially make their powers side effects of their parent’s use of magic.

        That, or maybe just Scarlet Witch dabbling in ‘chaos magic’ herself could be used to explain a lot.

        • Kevin Fiege already said the Space gem is the cube.

          Now Quicksilver getting the time gem,…that would make sense that he can travel faster than time or slower than time. Maybe even travel forward in time or back in time.

          • Really? That’s incredibly disappointing if true… and I’m not doubting you, just really hoping that either you misinterpreted his statement or that something will change between now and when they actually start getting around to the story. Far as I’m concerned Marvel did a really solid job all-around with Phase One, I’d hate to see them throw it all away with lazy decisions just when it was getting good. And saying that a big, blue CUBE that has already been shown to take over people’s minds, provide limitless energy, fire energy blasts AND open portals to other galaxies is a ‘space gem’, and one of six ‘infinity gems’… would be lazy AND unnecessary, when there are already well-established aspects of the Marvel continuity they could use to explain it.

            • I also don’t remember it shooting energy blasts. I think that happened because the cube was being used through machines to create the energy blast. Ex. Red Skull created his machine to harness the energy to evaporate people disintegrate people.

              Then the cube opens the portal with which Skull gets sucked into.

              In Avengers it is used to open the portal at the beginning and at the end of the movie.

  3. Kofi, why do you say that SW powers are owned by Fox? My understanding was that the Fox contract didn’t name Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch specifically, and that the only limitation, therefore, is that they can’t use the word “mutant” or mention Magneto as their father.

    • Yeah I don’t think Kofi is correct (sorry Kofi) that Scarlet Witch’s powers are owned by Fox. I think Fox owns all mutants from Marvel so basically characters with the X – gene. However, Scarlet Witch was predominantly used as an Avenger in the comics so Marvel has shared rights. Not sure how that works.

      They can still give Scarlet witch similar powers and make her a mutate or someone born with powers. Just don’t call it a mutant.

      • Comic book movie contracts do NOT control rights to super powers. There are a lot of people who know nothing about contracts and what can be legally secured who keep suggesting nonsense. The contracts secure rights to specific characters and specific terms (mutant). Superpowers are too amorphous and impossible to link to a single source to dictate ownership. The truth is, Whedon wanted the Witch and Silver, Feige agreed and said we’ll contest any contract that says different, Fox put up no fight because they knew Marvel had a good argument and a lot of money!!! Fox cattied back by adding Quicksilver to their film. The basic truth is, the only real Marvel handling of properties nowadays is by Feige and Marvel, who should own all rights, and the rest are strangling the teats trying to hold onto their cash cows.

    • and then both of them will become useless and powerless when Thanos arrived and gather all of the infinity gems into his infinity gauntlet

  4. Please no telekinesis. Have her powers go back to the beginning of her career, where she just affected probabilities,then later bring in Agatha Harkness to teach her some magic. Please please mention The High Evolutionary. >:-(

  5. Megan Boone from The Blacklist would have made a great Scarlet Witch

  6. I would rather they did not attribute Scarlett witches powers to that of witchcraft. On the flip side of that I am rather sick of the movies taking “magic” out of cinema. If she cannot be a mutant due to contractual limitations between rival studios, then her powers should be a manifestation of dimensional magic as defined in the marvel comics. If you take the mystique out of all of these characters you will end up sterilizing the brand like Lucas did with the “force and midi-chlorians in the phantom menace. I have no problem with fantasy magic…especially in a fantasy movie…and Marvel, DC, and other are Fantasy.

  7. “and ergo can’t be used in Avengers 2.”

    Simple solution – Marvel and Fox do a trade. The Avengers 2 gets mutants and Fox gets to use characters from the Avengers in one of their upcoming movies.

    No money needs to change hands, just a signed agreement that allows both companies to share characters. They will both benefit from this, as will the fans.

    Why can’t they do this?

  8. Can we just all take a mofo breather and realize we can enjoy the fact a talented writer and director from Hollywood is actually cool enough to put the Scarlet witch in a film without it being a joke. That is extremely cool. It never could have happened properly in 1984, or 1994. Fanboys can be spoiled little babies nowadays.

  9. Watch the ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ mid credits scene, it features both scarlet witch and quicksilver and basically insinuates that they have been experimented on by HYDRA.

  10. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch actually appear at the end of Captain America 2