WandaVision director Matt Shakman talks about the different magic colors seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the franchise’s first Disney+ series, WandaVision made a big splash when it premiered in January 2021. Offering homages to several classic sitcoms, it began as a departure for the MCU, though later episodes have focused more on the classic Marvel action viewers expected. Still, even the last half of season 1 has explored themes like grief and trauma with more breadth than seen elsewhere in the franchise.
Of course, as a Marvel Studios venture, WandaVision has also been full of twists and turns. One of the biggest came at the end of episode 7 with the reveal Agnes is actually Agatha Harkness. As a fellow witch, Agatha’s magic has color like Wanda’s, though it’s purple instead of red. She’s used her powers in Westview and in a flashback sequence to Salem, where other witches, including her mother, tried to attack her with their own blue magic. Magic has been seen elsewhere in the MCU as well, most notably with Doctor Strange, who favors a yellow-orange color.
Well, you know, certainly Wanda’s power, as we can say, was enhanced by her experience with the infinity stone, which we saw in the last episode. In terms of color differentiation, I think it’s important because when you’re trying to describe what’s happening, especially with Agatha in Salem, Massachusetts, you want to be able to see her purple magic eat away at that blue magic, right? Because that’s what she does, she absorbs power, she’s taking the magic from the other witches. Which is why they look so, you know, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” at the end of that scene, because she’s literally sucked all of their, their sort of magic in life from them.
So for us, in terms of color coding for that scene, that was, you know, one of the biggest reasons why it’s like that. And of course Wanda’s magic has been established, but we’re evolving it and changing it as we go.
Shakman’s explanation makes a lot of sense as far as the colors being used to help show what’s going on in the scene. As the director noted, WandaVision‘s Salem sequence in particular is a lot easier to follow knowing exactly when Agatha starts to defeat her fellow witches. Her distinct purple magic has also come in handy in the Westview scenes with Wanda and will continue to in what’s likely to be a major battle in the finale. It’s also smart to give Agatha her own color of magic in case she ever interacts with Doctor Strange or other magical beings elsewhere in the MCU.
Along the same lines, the different magic colors make scenes more visually interesting, which has definitely been the case in WandaVision. It’s also fun to think about the motivation behind different characters receiving different colors. As Shakman notes, Wanda’s powers were affected by her experience with one of the Infinity Stones. Meanwhile, as the MCU witch with roots to Salem, it makes sense Agatha’s magic is purple, as that’s the color most traditionally associated with witches. It seems inevitable other magical beings will be seen in the MCU at some point in the future. Then, it will be interesting to see which colors they receive.