“Avengers: Age of Ultron” may not start shooting until early 2014, but rumors are already circulating about who could play half of an exciting new duo in the upcoming Marvel Studios sequel. Bleeding Cool dropped a hint that Elizabeth Olsen may be director Joss Whedon’s top pick to bring the Scarlet Witch to life. This comes after initial frontrunner Saoirse Ronan apparently passed on the role.
While the profile of Elizabeth Olsen isn’t as high as that of her older sisters — Mary-Kate and Ashley — she’s made a name for herself by taking on challenging leading roles in indie films like “Liberal Arts” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” would catapult the 24-year-old actress into the spotlight in a big way, especially following her highly anticipated appearances in upcoming films: Spike Lee’s “Oldboy” and 2014’s reboot of “Godzilla.”
To determine whether Olsen is a perfect fit for the crimson-clothed Wanda Maximoff, here are five important facts about the Scarlet Witch.
Second Lady of the Avengers
Wanda Maximoff first joined in 1965’s “Avengers” #16 in a controversial issue that replaced heavy-hitting characters like Iron Man and Thor with reformed villains: the Scarlet Witch, her super speedster brother Quicksilver and the expert marksman Hawkeye. Fans threw a fit at the decision, but they should never have doubted Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s decision: Captain America’s self-proclaimed kooky quartet went on to win over audiences, making the three new additions mainstays of the team for the next four decades. Scarlet Witch was the second woman to join the team in the comics, following founding member the Wasp. With the character arriving in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” she’ll join up with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow.
Unlike the rest of the Avengers’ science- and technology-based powers, Scarlet Witch and her brother Quicksilver are both mutants — meaning they were born with their powers. This presents a bit of a legal hurdle with how the siblings can be portrayed in “Age of Ultron,” however, because Marvel Studios does not own the film rights to Marvel’s mutants. That honor famously belongs to Fox, who is already prepping mutant movies starring the X-Men for the foreseeable future. How Scarlet Witch’s powers will be explained is still up in the air, but considering how powerful she is, they’ll need an explanation. Wanda originally had the ability to manipulate probability through what she called “hexes.” In the ’60s, she did things like cause chandeliers to fall on opponents. Her powers grew as time went on to encompass manipulating all of reality, even going so far as to recreate the entirety of Earth to Magneto’s wishes during 2005’s “House of M” storyline.
The rumors also state that Olsen will have to adopt a “European” accent for the role, which fits in with the character’s comic book origins. Scarlet Witch and her twin brother Quicksilver were born in the fictional country of Transia, which squeezes in the area around Romania and Serbia on Marvel Universe maps. The twins were quickly given to a Romani couple named Django and Marya Maximoff, who raised the twins as their own — keeping them unaware of their true parentage.
In addition to not being able to call Scarlet Witch a mutant, Fox’s ownership of all things X-Men will most likely keep screenwriter Joss Whedon from calling out Wanda’s biological father: Magneto. The master of magnetism, played on the big screen by Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender, unknowingly fathered the twins and did not learn of their connection until years later. In a coincidence that can only be found in comics, Magneto actually rescued the teenage twins from an angry mob, thus guilt-tripping them into joining his newly formed Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Their supervillain career was short-lived, as the two quickly defected to join the Avengers.
Yes, the Scarlet Witch’s longest-lasting relationship was with a robot. But the Vision wasn’t just any robot: The evil robot Ultron created him to be a highly advanced synthetic being with a real human’s brain patterns mixed in, giving the artificial creature a touch of humanity. While a human/robot romance does seem a bit out of the realm of plausibility for inclusion in “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Vision’s creator will play a big role in the film — after all, his name’s right there in the title.
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” hits theaters in 2015.