Marvel Studios’ original Avengers 5 plan involving the Scarlet Witch would have resolved the Multiverse Saga’s Avengers: Endgame problem. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo did an impressive job in sticking the landing for the Infinity Saga with Endgame. The 2019 blockbusters effectively resolved the MCU’s overarching narrative involving Thanos and the Infinity Stones while also giving some of the franchise’s beloved heroes, namely Iron Man and Captain America, great send-offs.
Considering what Avengers: Endgame was able to achieve, future Avengers movies are, understandably, always going to be compared to it. Marvel Studios is well aware of this, which is why they decided to repurpose Avengers movie installments as MCU saga-cappers. There are several issues with this. Firstly, it means that there’s a six-year gap between Avengers: Endgame and Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, which releases in 2025. Secondly, the plan totally eliminates smaller Avengers movies that mainly focus on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and their collective adventures, like Avengers: Age of Ultron did.
Such problems could have been resolved had Marvel Studios moved forward with its original Avengers 5 plan. As it turns out, while the Scarlet Witch’s villainous turn was always in the cards for the MCU, it wasn’t going to happen until much later. Marvel was saving the Scarlet Witch to be Avengers 5‘s villain. However, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron convinced the studio to scrap that idea and pit Wanda against Doctor Strange instead. If Marvel Studios stuck with its initial idea, the MCU could have had an Avengers 5 that’s different enough from Avengers: Endgame to not draw any comparison. This would have allowed them to release it much earlier instead of pushing it all the way back to Phase 6. Finally, Avengers 5 could have established a proper Earth’s Mightiest Heroes roster before the team faces a bigger threat in Kang the Conqueror. As it stands now, the new Avengers won’t be able to fully assemble until 2024’s Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.
It was interesting to see the Scarlet Witch go up against Doctor Strange since both are prolific magic-wielders in the MCU. However, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ultimately wasted Wanda’s story. For most of the Infinity Saga, the character had been sidelined, which was frustrating considering how powerful and intriguing she is in Marvel Comics. MCU Phase 4 looked like it was finally giving her due as it kicked off with WandaVision. Unfortunately, the decision to continue her story in a movie where she isn’t the primary character was a massive misstep. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness couldn’t have given her the focus she deserved because it wasn’t her movie. By making the Scarlet Witch the Avengers 5 villain, Marvel Studios could have put her front and center of the story, as they did with Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
Now it would be tricky to utilize the Scarlet Witch as a villain again without it being repetitive. At the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, there’s an idea that when she returns to the MCU, she will begin her redemption arc. As for Avengers 5, just because Marvel Studios pushed it all the way back to the end of the Multiverse Saga, that doesn’t mean that it won’t draw comparisons with Avengers: Endgame considering that it’s also going to be a massive crossover event.