The Marvel Cinematic Universe distinguished its “faithful to the source” brand-identity as early as the first Iron Man movie in many ways. However, one of the most visible examples was when Marvel Studios started giving more and more of its heroes the colorful, often strange-looking costumes they sport in the comics in the MCU’s first phase – at the time, a contrast to the more “realistic” approach of Christopher Nolan’s Batman film trilogy or Bryan Singer’s earlier X-Men movies (not so much Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse, admittedly).
Not every Marvel Comics uniform made the cut, though, and one of the better-known cases is that of Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch – whose practical cinematic outfits from Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War is a significant depature from her comic-book origins. MCU concept artist Andy Park has now revealed alternate designs for the character’s Civil War costume that would have pushed her look closer to that of her comic book counterpart.
Even before she officially became part of the MCU, Scarlet Witch topped many lists of Marvel characters whose costume would require a serious redesign when they made the jump from page to screen. Not only does her classic outfit sport odd features like a billowing red cape and a mask/headband/tiara decoration of indeterminate purpose, but the overall original design (a red leotard worn over pink or purple tights) has often been drawn and colored in such a way that she appears to be wearing little more than a bathing suit (rather than being fully clothed). Subsequent redesigns, including a super-revealing “fortune teller” getup, would’ve been even more untenable.
Check out one of Park’s alternate costume designs for Scarlet Witch in Civil War:
Even still, it’s easy to see that both Park’s newly-revealed alternate designs and the ones use for the film were aiming to preserve a semblance of the classic look, with a jacket and bodysuit combo that suggests the classic look while also appearing functional. While the version used in the finished film looks more like basic clothing, Park’s first pass clearly took a more “tactical” approach similar to the uniforms worn by Captain America and Hawkeye in the MCU.
One key aspect that didn’t make it in, though, was an attempt to preserve the signature “headband” element from the comics – an attempt that Park assumed from the start wouldn’t make it to the final cut but felt he had to try – if only for the fun of trying to get as close as possible:
“This was a version I pretty much knew they wouldn’t pick but had to try. Specifically, I’m referring to her headband, which mimics her classic headdress from the comics. I really don’t think she needs this but I did it more for the fun of it.”
It’s unknown whether hewing closer to Scarlet Witch’s costume would have significantly changed the way the character has been received overall. While some fans have expressed continued disappointment in not getting to see her in her “proper” attire, it’s likely that many other fans would prefer that The Avengers’ uniforms shared a similar design sensibility in terms of aesthetic presentation. Typically, superhero movies update costumes between films in order to necessitate the production of new merchandise variants – see also Ant-Man, whose gear also got a slightly slicker upgrade between his own film and Civil War.
Doctor Strange opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016, followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: Andy Park