Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sets box office records and is another huge success for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Julia Delbel of ComingSoon spoke with the film’s screenwriter Michael Waldron about how Wanda became a villain, her amazing cast and portrayal of queer representatives.
Julie Delbel: I think one of the main things about this movie «Multiverse of Madness» was Wanda, and I think a lot of people, especially women who watch «WandaVision» and see themselves, love the story of mental health and healing told in her. and then get into this movie, and are a little confused by the villainous twist. What made this storyline the next natural step for this character in your eyes?
Michael WaldronA: Well, I think I definitely didn’t want to ignore everything in WandaVision. I’m a big fan of this and I thought it was a beautiful story about how Wanda makes mistakes without even realizing she’s making mistakes while trying to deal with her grief. In the end, she finds out who she really is in a whole new way. She was given the Darkhold and told the truth that her destiny is the Scarlet Witch, but that doesn’t erase her trauma or her grief or anything. You know she does the right thing in the end WandaVisionbut I don’t think she was healed at the end of that show. She just lets the townspeople go and leaves, and we see her at the end of this show reading from the Darkhold, and the Darkhold is a book of the Damned, it’s an evil book.
I think that when he gets hooked on you, he can prey on your strongest desires and your weakest parts of yourself. I think that’s what drives Wanda to be willing to do bad things to get what she wants. But I believe in our film, she always has a defensive stance that, as she says, America is not a child, she is a supernatural being. She is a walking multiverse portal. Who knows what it could lead to, she only has one defense. She tells Steven, “You break the rules and become a hero. I do it and I become the enemy» and they push her and they push her and I think they push her to the brink. She does bad things and it’s sad and I hate it. I hate to see the characters I love do bad things, but I think it felt like an honest character evolution.
We learned more about the Darkhold and the Book of Vishanti in the Multiverse of Madness, but we also learned something pretty important, which is the knowledge about dreams in the MCU, namely that they are windows to other realities and other versions of ourselves. . I noticed that in another project you’re working on called Loki, there was a reference to something called the Department of Nightmares. So was it related to this? Maybe since these two, Loki and Sylvia, are variants of each other, we could see this pop-up in the second season of this show? Could they dream of each other because they are variants of each other, is that how it works?
God, is Loki dreaming of entering Sylvia’s body? This is what you suggest… I should hang up and call. this is a great idea.
I didn’t come up with this, I saw it on Twitter. So scream on Twitter!
Always scream on Twitter. You know, it’s really interesting… sleepwalking is such a complicated spell. If anyone could do this, I’d say that Wanda and Strange are probably the only people who can use this spell, but then again, Loki [is] a very powerful magician himself, and Sylvia [is] also. So who knows? I don’t know. This is quite an interesting idea.
So there were a lot of cool characters in this movie. We had a pretty cool lineup for the Illuminati, but I’m sure there were a lot of suggestions about who should be in it. I’m sure there were great debates. So how was the process of choosing these particular characters?
It was like, “OK, what is our dream lineup? In fact, we will never get them, ”and then we did it. It was really what I felt. It feels like it was. I can’t believe we got what we got. We also wanted it to be based on some kind of truth: «If I were Stephen Strange from the 838 universe gathering the Illuminati, who would I choose?» That’s how we got into this group.
Watching the actors interact in both this and Loki, have you ever been inspired by chemistry and improv to change the script or development inspired by them? And I know the changes were made during the COVID breaks you mentioned.
Yes, completely. It was all such collaboration with the actors. It was the actors, myself and Sam, who worked every day, correcting, improving and polishing everything up. [For] Loki, we inherited Tom, and what a gift it was. I was able to really work with him to get that character’s voice right. But apart from that, many of these characters we created for the first time: Moebius, Killer Ren, B15, Miss Minute and even the One Who Remains. While in Doctor Strange, I have just become the manager of many of the characters that these amazing actors have played for years, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benny Wong, Chiwetel, Lizzy… They owned these characters long before me. So our job was to listen to them and make sure we didn’t deviate from who they understood these characters to be as they envisioned them for several years in the MCU.
With this film, and also with Loki, those are two of the three projects in the MCU that have a queer representation right now. Since you wrote two of them, what did you learn or take away from the experience of writing this, the feedback received from viewers, and was what came out on screen the original intention for these moments?
This is responsibility. This is certainly the case, and you should take it seriously, which we have in both cases. AT Loki, what appeared on the screen was definitely the intent. This line is between him and Sylvie where he admits he is bisexual. It just comes up in conversation when they talk about who they are. It seemed like an honest, truthful way of admitting it. With America and her moms that you see, it’s just the truth of character. I think that’s the whole point, you just want to be true to these characters and who they are. Mere acceptance does not necessarily equal performance or satisfactory performance, so it all depends on how thoughtful you are about it. Are you handling it properly and, I assume, being true to the character of the story you are telling at that moment?
So, finally, just to sum it up, how is the Star Wars movie coming along?
Good. It’s fun. I am delighted. I like to do something that feels strangely more original, simply because Star Wars has more of a canvas, a wider scope of time and space. Yes, I’m delighted. It is not necessary to write a continuation of something – that’s good.