A Doctor Strange Deleted Scene Goes Full Horror With An R-Rated Scarlet Witch

We've always known that Scarlet Witch is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ever since she first debuted her twitchy hand magic and red-tinted psychic abilities, it was very clear that few heroes would ever stand a chance. A regular ol' supersoldier versus her undefined psychic abilities? Steve Rogers could never. In fact, the entire Avengers crew nearly imploded from the inside thanks to Wanda sprinkling some mind manipulation to bring their deepest fears to life. But lucky for them, her time on the dark side was just a misunderstanding! By the end of her debut film, "Avengers: Age of Ultron," Wanda abandoned HYDRA to join forces with the Avengers. If only the story ended there...

Wanda's time as a hero spanned five movies before there was a seismic change. Along with upending the entire universe, the end of the Infinity Saga severely altered Scarlet Witch as a person. After the loss of her paramour Vision, Wanda retreated into herself to grapple with the grief. From her pain, we got "WandaVision," the nine-episode miniseries where she psychically enslaved an entire town of people to live out a blissful sitcom utopia.

After realizing that her illusion came at the expense of the Westview citizens, Wanda decided to do the right thing and tear it all down. This means bidding a tearful farewell to her children and husband. But if you thought that would be the end of her villainous days, then think again.

In Wanda's most recent appearance, she goes much further than tapping into fears or even controlling minds: the Scarlet Witch goes on a full-blown murderous rampage.

Wanda takes a dark turn

In "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," Wanda Maximoff is not a hero. Officially leaving her days as an Avenger in the past, she returns to her villainous roots, fighting in the name of grief to reunite with her alternate universe children by any means necessary, which happens to involve transforming a PG-13 superhero movie into an ultra-violent horror romp.

Children in the audience probably weren't expecting to see the former hero covered in the blood of innocents but nightmares be damned — Wanda makes an incredibly fun villain! Once she begins her warpath in earnest, "Multiverse of Madness" starts to play out like a slasher movie. Except that in lieu of a kitchen knife, Wanda is wielding chaos magic.

But just because we have a word for her magical abilities doesn't make them any easier to fend off. Her powers easily trump the sorcery at the disposal of her opponent, Doctor Strange. With the Darkhold amplifying her abilities, Wanda is able to storm Kamar Taj, defeat the many other sorcerers who oppose her, and take down the Illuminati of Earth-838 all on her own. And her powers are just one piece of the puzzle: it's Wanda's single-minded desire that makes her so terrifying.

A deleted scene unleashes Wanda's rage

Wanda spends the movie hunting down Xochitl Gomez's America Chavez, determined to steal the girl's dimension-hopping abilities. Wanda is hellbent on finding her kids and if that means sacrificing a random teenager, she is willing to do it — anyone who stands in her way immediately becomes a target. Try as they might to stop the murderous madness, no one seems to stand a chance: Mr. Fantastic ends up shredded into ribbons, Black Bolt blows his own brains out, and Charles Xavier only manages to slow her down before she literally rips off his head. And if you found it hard to watch the PG-13 movie that ultimately hit theaters, just imagine the horrors that were left on the cutting room floor!

Actually, scratch that, there's no need to imagine it: we have a pretty good sense of the horrors that could have been. "Multiverse of Madness" fight coordinator Liang Yang recently revealed that Wanda was meant to wreak more havoc in an extended version of her attack on Kamar Taj. Shared to Instagram, the test sequence plays out in a long-take that sees Wanda decimating the warriors on the ground level, taking them all out with brutal ease. 

Here's the full scene:

Wanda Maximoff might be the original Vecna because her method of killing looks an awful lot like the "Stranger Things" villain who lifts victims into the air before breaking their bones in the most gruesome fashion possible. And that doesn't even account for what she does with the sorcerers once they're already dead: with her psychic abilities, she uses their bodies as weapons!

Is Wanda too dark for Marvel?

While this marks an unexpected turn for Wanda and the MCU, it's very in-character for the film's mastermind, Sam Raimi. This is the director who helmed titles like "The Evil Dead," "Army of Darkness," and "Drag Me To Hell." The gory details of Wanda's rampage are a given for Raimi, but unprecedented for Marvel. Even when a supervillain like Thanos wiped out half the universe's population, it was somber and bloodless: he simply turned his many victims into dust. But Wanda rips her enemies apart so horrifically that she ends up splattered in their blood.

In a cinematic universe that has yet to delve into R-rated territory, it makes sense that Wanda's more gruesome moments would be cut from the film. But it's still bittersweet to know what could have been. If they'd fully handed Raimi the reigns on this one, the movie would've been packed with gruesome moments like this axed fight scene, embracing the brutality of the Scarlet Witch and the dark implications of her powers.