Paul Bettany And Elizabeth Olsen Explain Why Marvel Scripts Are So Confusing


Colorful characters, cohesive continuity and constant calamity: the three key ingredients to any successful superhero story or universe. But too much of those ingredients can be poison to the audience’s understanding of the plot and can confuse even the most attentive of fans. Just ask Marvel stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany.

The duo recently tag teamed a Q&A at ACE Comic-Con in Seattle and admitted to having a rough time of reading through scripts from the studio because they couldn’t keep track of all the characters. Bettany, known for his scene-stealing performances as the wise, sage-like Vision in the MCU, apparently had trouble keeping track of the story because he didn’t realize that Tony Stark was Iron Man and Steve Rogers was Captain America.

“’When’s Iron Man going to come in? Where’s Captain America?’ They’ve got like ‘Tony’ and this guy called ‘Steve’—who are these people?”

It’s a testament to his acting ability, then, or just plain hilarious, that he plays a character known for doling out the heart-to-hearts and being the social barometer for tension among the characters and at one point didn’t know anyone’s name.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Olsen had to resort to some home-made hex magic to understand the script, telling the crowd the following:

“Sometimes they just use last names, and sometimes they use first names…The first time reading one of these scripts was really [hard], like trying to draw picture and diagrams and try to figure out who’s who.”

The dioramas clearly worked for her, too, as she’s now beloved for her turn as Scarlet Witch and has brought the character a new-found reverence amongst fans.

Both Bettany and Olsen first took center stage in Avengers: Age of Ultron and have clearly gotten past their Marvel teething to become real bright spots in the MCU. But their troubles remain a humble reminder of just how grand in scope the frachise has become that even formally trained thespians are having trouble keeping the story straight.