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

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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
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  1. My goodness did she use the word “like” enough. Nothing against her talent tho.

    • All these teens and young adults use “like” way to much. This just makes them sound uneducated and flaky.

      • Yeah but this was like too much like she wasn’t even trying to be like adult bcuz she’s like to excited. She needs like grammar nazi at her place like to educate her more cuz she is like 24 YEARS OLD! like no teenager anymore!

      • Actually, I’d be more inclined to say the misspelling “too” is more likely to make you sound uneducated than using the word, “like,” too much.

  2. She looks like a teenager

    • she looks like the girl next door type but somehow it will work …I guess

  3. her comments don’t help…atleast she’s excited you thinks she’s excited i think she’s excited

  4. I was REALLY hoping Saoirse Ronan was going to be Scarlett Witch!

    • *The Scarlet Witch

    • I’m betting she turned it down for Star Wars. She’s Sue Storm though..

      • Even though I have read reports where Saoirse Ronan has denied she’s been cast in SW 7, I hope you’re right.

        She would be a kick ass Jedi or Sith (apprentice).

        Saoirse is good in anything she’s in.

        • She definitely would. But I’d hate to think she turned down Scarlett Witch for the *chance* of being in Star Wars; just to audition.

        • Is her name pronounced like the condition, Psoriasis? Every time I read it, that’s what I think of LOL.

          Not trying to be a jerk or anything but just being honest.

  5. It would be fun if they joked about not being able to say “mutant”.

    “… It has radically changed their DNA. They’re human, but with some… Differences…”

    “So, basically, they’re mu…”


    • Ha! Good one. They *should* use that. Damn lawyers.

  6. I have never seen this girl act, I was going to in Red Lights but then completely forgot to watch the film. Maybe I should give it a go this week since she will be in 3 movies that I shall be going to be watching soon.

    She does sound ridiculous in the interview but I don’t really care as long as she can pull off the characters shes portraying. She may well pis* off more than a few people involved with this project (and comic book movies in general) comparing playing Scarlet Witch to a child running around in the yard.

    • I think she’s just excited to be playing Scarlett Witch, mate. Not actually likening her role to running around in a playground.

  7. “It’s just fun to read these comics – it’s just so fun!”

    • totes

  8. scarlet witch needs to be busty and sexy, i hope her costumes good

  9. I don’t get it. Scarlet Witch’ powers are owned by Fox and cannot be used in Avengers 2? Yet, isn’t Quicksilver also owned by Fox? How come he gets to keep his super speed powers?

    • I kind of hope they just gloss over it. Like, oh she has super powers; okay. Maybe Iron Man can make a quip about it and then they move on. That way they won’t actually have to change her story.

    • I’d prefer that they make her an actual witch it brings in some fun with what they can do with her potentially limitless power. She may even grant someone else certain abilities by accident for a comedy thing but magic is really tricky because if she can use it freely people will argue, why didn’t she just say (Thanos, Ultron) whomever she is fighting gone and they disappear that will be tricky. So i’m hoping either a witch or Telekinesis and Hex Bolts (unless thats what Kofi meant in the article?)

    • I would personally like to see her and QS’s powers come as part of the Inhumans, establishing them for a future film

    • It is ABSOLUTELY MORONICLY IGNORANT that they are using these 2 characters, when Marvels roster is what a couple hundred? if not it is well enough that they could find 2 other characters that could be FULLY UTILIZED and their powers fully realized in A:AoU! For some reason Joss’ Knob is throbbing over these two!

      I WONDER if part of it is to get the jump on DC by using a super fast character before DC gets The Flash into a movie, That would be a terrible reason to use ANY character and I hope this has NO influence on his decision making but it (TO ME) is a bit ODD and timing wise is also a bit strange!
      AGAIN I hope and doubt that this would play any part in his and Marvels decision making but ya never know, and DC is about to have a kinda big team up of their own just a month after A:AoU.
      I just wish they would have chose 2 different characters, 2 that are 100% in Marvels possession and 2 that do not have to follow any STUPID A$$ rules…We also know that studios DO use characters for SHADY reasons and if anyone does not believe me on that one just look at the announcement of Quicksilver being used in DOFP, To me it is pretty obvious that they put QS in that movie ONLY because Marvel had announced that they were gonna use him in AoU!

      • Not only that but Fox was also going to use Saoirse Ronan as Scarlet witch for DOFP right after she turned down the role for Avengers it’s like their following in Marvel’s foot steps they’re really trying to compete with them

      • dc….. has nothing to do with this…… the movies are not only competition.
        The fans want these caracters

  10. Elizabeth Olson a great actress and am really happy she’s going to be in The Avengers. She sounds pretty excited too, she’s def going to blow up with Godzilla and The Avengers.

  11. The character of Scarlet Witch, along with Quicksilver, Wasp, and Giant-Man or Goliath, are on my most-wanted hero list for Avengers. I’m really glad her character is being addressed in Avengers #2, and I hope she and Quicksilver are around for more than one film!

  12. I think she will do great, Scarlet Witch is one of my favorite females of Marvel so I know i’ll enjoy any way they put her but I’m really excited to see Quicksilver where he belongs (but will be underused) in X-Men. I just like him better as a mutant and his relationship with Magneto and Scarlet Witch I’m just super excited. HOpefully we see some Polaris action over at Fox YOU HEAR ME FOX!!!

  13. I think she and her brother are going to end up being Inhumans somehow (Terrigen Mists?) which of course will lead to an Inhumans movie; possibly with Vin Diesel playing Black Bolt.

    • terrigen mists, yep.
      given that QS in fact did get his powers restored by the mists at one point, is fairly safe to assume that those could be the origens of their power.

    • I like that idea with the Terrigan Mists. But Vin Diesel as Black Bolt? Really? That guy can´t act a bit, the only thing about him is his deep voice. And since Black Bolt doesn´t speak… Also, isn´t he voicing the living tree in GOTG?

  14. I want to reality warping, but truth is she runs the risk of becoming too god-like. Even Superman/Hulk can be put up against opponents they can’t outright crush. I’m interested in seeing where Joss goes with this.

  15. My only real anger over the Scarlet Witch in a Marvel movie is how X-Men The Last Stand blatantly bastardized the character of the Scarlet Witch. Phoenix’s costume was almost a total riff of the Scarlet Witch’s (scarlet, no pink) and the character became a daughter figure to Magnetor (or rather he a father figure to her). I also rolled my eyes when he said to her “You can do anything you want, anything you think of”. Oh, the complete instability of Phoenix in X3! Whatever! It SO spoiled the Scarlet Witch Character for me.

    So, to the topic at hand, I think MARVEL need to be very cognizant to not make Scarlet Witch seem like the bastardized Scarlet Witch of X3. She needs to have clearly defined powers and not just be able to do “anything, anything she can think of”. She needs to not be someone’s pawn. She needs to be a little emotional, but not completely unstable like Jean in X3. And when she does react over-emotionally, it needs to be for a plot reason, and not just because she’s out of control! Sorry for the “screen rant” but I’ve been holding this in for years!

    • I never made that connection on X3.

      • Me neither. But in hindsight, I can see it.

  16. I think they are going to give her real witch powers but she will be just learning her powers which is why they cast someone young looking.

    i think they will give her powers of resurrection and giving life. Maybe she gives Ultron his life!

    • Well yeah, her base of power for most of her comic career involved magic. At first it was simply written as hex spheres (her mutation) but soon became a combination of that and magic. I hope they avoid Bendis. His reality warping bullcrap was thankfully brief, as it was quickly retconned (explained away via lifeforce) and forgotten as soon as someone else had a chance.

      And her first appearances was when she and her brother were teens so a younger actress playing her makes sense for introducing her.

  17. One of the infinity stones might be granting her powers…or maybe she´ll be from a different world, thus the source of her powers will be from a galaxy far..far away.

  18. Powers… what if they give her the power to influence the collapse of superposition, and entanglement?

    She’d be the Quantum Witch

    And her powers could originate in the SHIELD TV series vehicle Extremis, that gives people superpowers. Then they could label people injected with Extremis as “Inhumans” (then Iron Man 4 can have Pepper do some super power things; and isn’t Tony a superhuman now too, with his Extremis rebuilt heart?)

  19. i am the only one when they was talking joss whedon version of punchy powers could hear his voice in my head

  20. Costume test:

  21. What can I say, she have the power to alter REALTY, that word is the KEY i think hmm REALITY . . . STONE?, you heard it here first folks

  22. I’m thinking reality infinity stone as well. Not only does it give Scarlet Witch her powers, she could give her brother his powers, or something of the sort. Given there isn’t a speed infinity stone or some speed-force or something.

  23. I hope Whedon knows what he is doing with this. I hope they have a purpose other than just being in the movie to add characters on Whedon’ s top ten list.

  24. could the infity stones have something to do with it. OR maybe they where on “The List” form AoS, the list is a short index of people who where jsut randomly given powers that manifested in random ways.

  25. Her mutant powers were described as “magic” for years. It was explained that the magic she thought were her powers for so long, are a result of being raised by her gypsy mother. The reality altering came way later.

    • Yep, came later and was bullcrap. For it to happen Bendis had to go completely against character Scarlet Witch and Dr Strange… and decades long canon. For one Strange has in the past used chaos magic, why would he think it doesn’t exist? He would never say a type of magic doesn’t exist even if he didn’t know it, it was years after being sorceror supreme that he learned about catastrophe magic. And it just turned Scarlet Witch into a plot device. It removes her history of relevance and does away with the explanation of her powers that worked. She is far better off without reality warping.

      But as it turns out, Chthon has since then let it be known that chaos magic (the magic he basically created) is very much real, that sorcerors lie about it to avoid his spread of influence, which would explain why Strange would say it then (and not the many other times it’s been called chaos magic) since Chthon was attempting to use her body as his vessal. Also, the dumb unexplained level of power turns out to be the result of her and Dr Doom taping into the lifeforce through some ritual.

      So I don’t see much need for her powers to result from the gems, and I hope they comepletly ignore the whole reality warping thing. Her powers coming from Chthon would work, and it’d serve as a good way to lead up to Dr Strange being introduced. After all Chthon is the reason the Vishanti created the role of sorceror supreme.

  26. As long as she dress hot and avoid to use power that non comic audiences could understand, she would be fine.

    In order to safe him, you need to enter her dream and build a bridge that connect to level 2 of his dream ….

  27. I think Marvel is trying way to hard to make everything technological. I hated the explanation in Thor that they were not gods. And going out of there way to ensure that Loki had no talents other than a knife. it explains why they will never introduce the Enchantress into his movies.

    And now Joss is talking about the Scarlet Witch as a person with telekinetic and getting inside your head. Thats not really her powers.

    The characters are going to be so far removed from who they are that they might as well be new characters by the time they are done.

  28. I am thinking, since marvel is building up the MCU with Thanos and the infinity stones, and the fact that Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver can’t be mentioned as mutants due to the rights thingy, the sibling’s source of power might be the infinity stones.

    The Scarlett Witch could be holding on to the infinity stone that controls reality, hence her abilities to control luck and all, while Quicksilver could be holding on to the infinity stone that controls time, and that explains how he could travel and move in such superhuman speed!

    • Which means when the stones are removed from there possession then they are just normal humans. And since once everyone finds out the extent of the stones powers they will be removed from the possession of just normal humans, not that they could contain the power anymore than Jane could. Its a bad plot device that makes them have to possess the stones in order to be Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.

      Or bad plot device number two is that the stones permanently bequeath them power but then why did the power gem not give Jane permanent energy?

  29. My character input on the twins:
    So unless Quicksilver was played by Anderson Cooper, I wouldn’t seriously justify silver/white hair on a man, otherwise, keep it as naturally as possible on a young 20yr old character. But to keep fanboys at ease, it would be cool that when he went off running, his hair would turn “white due to speed” during the shots and back to normal when he came to a halt.

    As for the Scarlet Witch, it would be interesting her powers emanated from being Wicca or Roma (or a combination of both), as apart from The Craft movie characters, I’ve not known any other director to explore the contemporary Practice. Joss is well-versed in that theme due to BTVS and if I get to see Liz Olsen chant some spells rather than shoot silly red orbs out from her hands, I will die a very happy oyster

    • I really doubt that Marvel is going to come close to touching magic anytime soon. Especially in such a technologically based movie like I would expect Ultron to be.

      Her powers are going to have some really basic human based Extremis/Super Serum based excuse. Something easily linked to science and easily explained to the audience in my opinion.

      • So the fact that they’re unofficially confirming that Dr Strange (a magic based character) might have a movie in Phase 3 means there won’t be magic “any time soon”?

        • I don’t consider 2017 ( 4 to 5 years out ) is really soon. LOL. And that is assuming he is confirmed to appear which is not official yet.

          And that is also assuming they make Dr. Strange really magic based and not some cop out science based ( his powers are derived from a very advanced race from another dimension ) explanation.

          I personally think that by the time they get done with Strange he will not resemble anything similar to what we are expecting even if he does get the green-light.

          • True. I don’t really mind the origin at this point since Joss has to get inventive and avoid the term “mutant”. I just wanted to point out what I visually want to see and how Whedon’s expertise might surface.

            And magic based characters have been introduced:

            -Odin: When casting the spell on the hammer in the first Thor movie.
            -Loki: illusion casting, telepathy (with the Other), mind control (Selvig and Hawkeye aside, he influenced Bruce Banner when arriving on the Helicarrier)
            -Frigga: Basically known as a sorceresss, illusion casting.

            Hollywood magic usually pertains abusing special effects and fire orbs and the sort (conjuring) being thrown around, so it’s easy to disregard spell casting or mind tricks as part of the tools in the magic world.

            • Not sure I agree 100% on the list. The Odin/Hammer thing does not really have an explanation yet so we might consider that magic possibly. But I am sure the illusion casting is probably basic science of Asgard much like they called the device they used on Jane a soul caster ( or whatever ) but she called it a Quantum Physic thingy. Asgard is just really run on advanced science so I expect the Hammer enchantment is really just an advanced “The Club for your steering wheel”. LOL

              And the mind control was the mind gem and not magic.

              They have gone out of there way to discount magic in Thor even by saying that they are not really Gods, but just long lived ( 5000 years give or take ). Its almost like its a mantra in the Marvel movies.

              • I wouldn’t agree that the movies are having magic is being discounted as science. Thor says in his world magic and science are one in the same. I assume that means that magic and science co-exist together and cannot without each other. In other words, in Thor’s world things that are science based are also magic based and vice versa.

                Just the mere fact that the following things happened prove that they may have a science base but there is clearly a magic base to them:
                - Odin speaks words to the hammer “to whoever shall be so worthy…” (or whatever) and the hammer follows those commands
                - only Thor can lift it because the object is connected to him through his “worthiness.” If not magic they are going to have to explain how the object can read his soul and mind to only connect with him.
                – Loki can move furniture with “invisible force,”
                -Thor can fly.

                I think that Scarlet Witch will have higher level scientifc human powers but they will manifest and appear as magic.

                • That “magic=science” explanation is so weak. It makes me cringe.

                  • agree. I think we will end up seeing that magic will play a larger role in future films. In Thor’s world science and magic are both used equally and co-exist. They should not be the same as was explained by Thor even though I think Thor grew up thinking that way thus that is how he explains it.

              • If by “mind gem” you mean the Chitauri Scepter, a)It is a Tesseract-based weapon (silly Thanos giving away a gem, imagine that), b)it’s what allowed Loki to teleport to Earth in the first place and c)it was nowhere to be seen when Loki’s arriving at the Helicarrier.

                The Tesseract acts more like the Power gem to me, since in Captain America it was being exploited for it’s unlimited source of ENERGY and in Avengers Stark/Banner are trying to figure out how Selvig would kickstart the cube to focus its ENERGY in a single point in space to create the wormhole. Also the description of the Power gem I’ve been finding online is: “Accesses all power and ENERGY that ever has or will exist, and can boost the other gems’ effects. Allows the user to duplicate almost any physical superhuman ability and grants Omnipotence.” thus enhancing Loki’s mind controlling powers/telepathy.

                If you go back to the Avengers movie at around 50:45 (Netflix reference point), I find it hard to belive for Loki to be simply smirking at Banner and Banner needing to rest his eyes for no reason. Also at 1:11:25 Stark is reacting in the same manner during the team’s banter. Sounds like a localized mind control spell to me! LOL. Besides, Loki is well known to talk into the Hulk’s ear in the early comics.

                As for illusion casting, unless these guys have hologram emiting chips in their eyes, I can’t take it as “advanced form of science”, sorry.

                • I see the tesseract as the space stone because it opens opens portals to space 3 times. During the avengers at the beginning and end. Then Red Skull when he is moved into the alternate demension or whatever at the end of CA 1. Also you said that the Chitauri sceptor helped Loki teleport to earth. If that is the fact (I believe you, I just don’t remember) then that would represent space stone powers because it gives a person the ability to move from one space to the other.

                  Also the space gem/stone manipulates space and interferes with motion of other objects so the fact that the cube was manipulated to disintegrate people would mean that it is manipulating space to rerrange human matter to nothing.

                  However, I think when its energies are manipulated it can be a weapon. Like the other stones