Michael Waldron, the writer of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, discusses how much time transpired between WandaVision’s post-credits scene and the sequel.
Michael Waldron, author of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, explains how long it’s been since WandaVision’s post-credits sequence in the MCU film. Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) held an entire town hostage unwittingly to create an idyllic, sitcom reality where she could be with Vision (Paul Bettany) and have metaphysical children in Tommy (Jett Klyne) and Billy (Marvel Studios’ first Disney+ series) (Julian Hilliard). Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) revealed Chaos Magic and the foretold Scarlet Witch in the WandaVision finale, reading from the fabled Darkhold. “You have no idea what you’ve unleashed,” Agatha warned Wanda as she embraced her identity as the Scarlet Witch.
Despite making things right at the end of WandaVision, the Scarlet Witch studied the Darkhold as her children’s voices echoed throughout the multiverse in the series’ post-credits sequence. The Darkhold has turned Olsen’s fingertips black, her outfit even more evil, and the world surrounding her into a hellscape when audiences witness her character in Multiverse of Madness. Wanda has fully transformed into the Scarlet Witch, and is irrationally focused on one goal: to reunite with her children by capturing America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) and stealing her power, similar to Anakin Skywalker’s metamorphosis into Darth Vader. Because Wanda’s transformation to the dark side occurs off-screen, many fans have claimed that it was jarring. Between WandaVision and Multiverse of Madness, however, a significant amount of time has elapsed.
Waldron detailed several of the decisions he took when writing Multiverse of Madness’ story and characters in a recent interview with THR. When asked how long it took the Darkhold to take root in Wanda, the writer stated that the film did not take place a “day” after WandaVsion’s post-credits scene. Read on for his timeline explanation:
Wanda’s mental state in Multiverse of Madness can be explained by this “long enough” span of time, combined with the Darkhold’s presence. Whether in Marvel Comics or elsewhere, the Darkhold/Book of the Damned is nearly always depicted as a dark magic object that corrupts or curses anyone who read it. Even yet, for those inexperienced with comic tales like “House of M,” it’s difficult to be told rather than shown what Wanda has become. In the same way that What If…? Multiverse of Madness could’ve spent more time with Wanda before the Scarlet Witch assassinated Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and members of the Illuminati in episode 4, which followed Doctor Strange Supreme (Benedict Cumberbatch) as he went to dark magic.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the shortest MCU film in years, clocking in at just over two hours. Some have suggested that the film, its characters, and emotional resonance would have benefited from an additional 30 minutes or so. Regardless, Doctor Strange 2 is definitely one of Marvel Studios’ fastest-paced films, and opening with Wanda already a villain an undefined amount of time after WandaVision’s post-credits sequence fits that pacing perfectly. Furthermore, because Olsen does an excellent job of fitting the sequel into the WandaVision tale, it makes logical to have Scarlet Witch’s transformation take place off-screen.