Avengers: Infinity War Director Explains Why Scarlet Witch’s Accent Changed
Avengers: Infinity War left us with many questions to ponder. One that wasn’t that important to the plot but still caught fans’ attention was what the heck happened to Scarlet Witch’s accent? In her prior appearances in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War, Wanda Maximoff had a thick, quasi-Eastern European accent. However, in Infinity War, all traces of this had vanished.
While speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast recently, Joe Russo explained the thinking behind Wanda’s wavering vocal tones, saying that the character deliberately schooled herself to lose her distinctive accent as she’s been on the run for the past two years at the beginning of Infinity War.
“We have intentionally tried to strip that accent away for a couple of reasons. One is you’ll notice at the beginning of Civil War that Black Widow is training her to be a spy, and two is she’s been on the run, and one of the most distinguishing characteristics that she has is her accent. So if you’re gonna try to disguise yourself or hide yourself or not be caught, you’re going to try to limit those trigger warnings that would make it easy for someone to identify you, which would be inclusive of her accent.”
Continuing on, he said:
“Clearly Black Widow as a red head is an incredibly distinguishing characteristic for her, which is why she has blonde hair. Cap, we’ve seen Chris Evans walk around in public with a beard and no one recognizes him. There are simple things you can do to your appearance that take about 90% of your visibility away, and for us it was very intentional that we would just keep stripping that accent down to show her acclimating and hiding.”
Russo’s reasoning for why Wanda has lost her accent is a solid one. It makes sense that she’d get some tips from Natasha on how to be a better spy, and Black Widow would know something herself about adopting a US accent to disguise your natural European one. Since the Sokovia Accords made her a fugitive, Wanda clearly needed to get used to blending in.
Outside of the context of the film, of course, the real reason why Wanda doesn’t have her Sokovian accent anymore in Avengers: Infinity War is that it just makes more sense for Elizabeth Olsen to use her natural voice. Due to no fault of her own, as it’s hard to consistently maintain a made-up accent, Wanda’s style of speaking often fluctuated in Ultron and Civil War. As such, it seems like the filmmakers simply took the earliest opportunity to ditch the dodgy accent, then.