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Why Scarlet Witch Won't Ever Get Her Own Movie

Scarlet Witch was a relatively late addition to the Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although she has a rich (and bizarre) history in the comics that goes back nearly as far as any of the original members of the team. In fact, when it comes to getting her own standalone adventure in the MCU, that history may ultimately be part of her undoing. Here's why Marvel probably won't ever give Scarlet Witch her own movie.

Elizabeth Olsen isn't sold yet on the idea

The actress who plays Scarlet Witch, Elizabeth Olsen, has been enjoying the career lift the MCU has provided, but is unsure about taking on a standalone film about the character. "The pressure of a tentpole movie on my shoulders doesn't feel comfortable." she stated in 2015. "I love my character. I just don't know how that would fit into the Marvel universe or if it would even be necessary."

In the meantime, Olsen has taken advantage of the tight scheduling of the Marvel film franchise to find other, broader work in the downtime. "I already know my block of time for [Marvel] for the next year," she added in the same 2015 interview. "I have a lot of time until then, so I'm in a position where I'm trying to find another film like (Hank Williams biopic) I Saw The Light."

She later stated that the right script could potentially change her mind. "I wouldn't just do it to do it," she told The Huffington Post. "It'd have to make sense for how it advances the world."

There's still the whole 'we don't make female action figures' thing

Times are changing, but slowly. With the largest number of female protagonists in the MCU to that point, Captain America: Civil War marked a noticeable shift in the studio's approach to gender equality—and this is definitely a good thing. However, just like Black Widow in the previous Avengers film, Scarlet Witch was nowhere to be found in the initial toy line for Avengers: Age of Ultron. This is still bad.

Marvel has made statements claiming to be working on these diversity oversights, and both Scarlet Witch and Black Widow eventually got their own action figures—multiple versions, in fact—but the company's historic reluctance to lean heavily on its female characters doesn't bode well for the possibilities of Scarlet Witch being allowed to carry a standalone film. Black Widow is expected to get her own big-screen adventure in the not-so-distant future, but that doesn't mean Wanda Maximoff will follow suit.

Her actual backstory is completely bonkers

Scarlet Witch is a great character for an ensemble cast. Cool look, cool powers, can balance out a team mostly composed of comparatively grounded weaponry and hand-to-hand combat skills with straight-up magic. However, if you focus too closely on the character—with, say a standalone film putting her at the center—there's a lot of stuff that just won't work. Or, at least, not a good film.

Scarlet Witch goes back the the same Silver Age comics era as the Avengers, her first appearance coming only a year after the team's debut. Storylines got pretty weird in the 1960s, but hers was exceptional. Wanda and her brother Pietro (Quicksilver) were born after their mother fled their father (more on him later) and were raised by a character called the High Evolutionary. Also, a cow. An actual cow. The High Evolutionary had this whole Dr. Moreau thing going on and was looking to improve humanity. The twins' powers were unleashed by his experiments, but the source has remained a mystery for decades.

In the MCU, they've attempted to retcon this away by possibly having it involve Loki's staff. But they're gonna have to come up with more detail than that for a full backstory, and the source material is pretty out there.

A lot of her powers come from demons

Scarlet Witch's powers are rooted in, basically, magic—and until 2016's Doctor Strange, magic really wasn't something covered in the MCU. For legal reasons (which we'll get into later), she wasn't introduced to the MCU as a mutant, so a standalone movie would need to figure out how to explain where these powers are coming from. They aren't gonna like what the source material has to say.

Demons, basically. Most of Scarlet Witch's powers are channeled through the demon/elder god Chthon, but she's gained additional powers through deals with the "we can't say he's the Devil but he's totally the Devil" character Mephisto. Which may fly for an antihero or villain character, but we're not sure the world is ready for a Marvel/Disney film with a demon-reliant heroic protagonist.

Her relationship with her brother is... problematic

Speaking of family, you can't really touch on Scarlet Witch's less, ahem, family-friendly attributes without mentioning how close she is with her brother. Yes, he died in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, but a standalone film will no doubt have to include background and character development—and seriously, this is too messed up not to mention.

The pair have always been unusually close, but when Mark Millar started writing the characters in 2001, all subtlety and nuance about their relationship went out the window. This culminated in the Ultimate Universe series, in which it was definitely confirmed they were having an incestuous relationship. While the Ultimates Universe storylines have always been considered separate from the regular Marvel Universe, there are just some unspeakable images you can't unsee.

She may actually be too powerful

One of the most intriguing challenges in writing a character like Scarlet Witch is that there has yet to be an established upper limit to her powers. At various times in the comics she's re-written time and shifted reality, resurrected people and brought others to life out of thin air, willed the entire mutant species out of existence, killed off her (supposedly more powerful) mentor Angela Harkness, and has been deemed a "nexus-being" which puts her on the level of sorcerors like Merlin. Much the same way screenwriters struggle to come up with meaningful villains for Superman to face, Scarlet Witch could pose a huge problem in terms of dramatic stakes. It's one thing to have her save the day for a few moments at a time in an ensemble picture, but on her own? We're not so sure.

Fill our eyes with that WandaVision

Ultimately, the thing that may keep Scarlet Witch from getting her own movie is the same thing that's putting her on the small screen for a TV series co-starring her android paramour. We're talking, of course, about the new streaming series Disney+, which is set to debut in late 2019 with a massive library of films and shows that includes WandaVision, a limited series that sounds like it'll take a decidedly unorthodox approach to telling the couple's story.

"There's quite a few other comic books that we're pulling from and it's going to be Wanda and the Vision, and I think at the Disney+ launch chat, they showed a photo of us in the '50s," Olsen told Variety in April 2019. "They have a great group of writers. I think it's going to be a total of six hours."

Anything can happen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — both of this show's stars, after all, were seemingly killed at the end of Avengers: Infinity War — so it certainly isn't completely out of the question for Scarlet Witch to get her own movie. At this point, though? It doesn't look terribly likely.