After facing a global pandemic, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is ready to begin its phase 4 with WandaVision, a sitcom-style web show starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany. The actors reprise their roles as superheroes Wanda Maximoff or Scarlett Witch and The Vision, respectively.
WandaVision is different from it’s predecessors in every sense of the word. After 23 movies, the audience will finally dive deep into the stories of the ‘underrated’ superheroes in the series format. Apart from that WandaVision pays a tribute to classic American sitcoms from different eras, starting from I Love Lucy (1950s) to Full House (1980s-90s) and everything in between.
In a global press-conference attended by the team of WandaVision, Elizabeth Olsen described the show in Wanda’s point-of-view. “I believe, from Wanda’s point of view she
would describe WandaVision as a family sitcom of two people trying to fit in and not be discovered for being different.”
The show sees Wanda and Vision living in a town called Westview in an altered-reality created by her after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Since the show moves quickly, through different eras, the main characters also change a lot from their film versions.
When asked what about Vision makes him hold true, despite his changing surroundings, Paul Bettany said, “I was worried about that initially. I was like, ‘Wow, this is-feels so different,’ as I read the script and thought ‘how do I keep him the same?’ And then I realized he has always been becoming something else. He’s Jarvis, he’s part Ultron, he’s part Tony Stark, and he’s omnipotent but he’s also this sort of naive ingenue. Then I realized, I should just throw a little bit of Dick Van Dyke in there and a little bit of Hugh Laurie. So as long as he remains what Vision is, just decent and honorable and existing for Wanda, we are safe.”
Elizabeth Olsen, who has got a lot of praise for her fluid performance in the early reviews of the show, credited some classic American actress. “I think it was like an amalgamation of Mary Tyler Moore and Elizabeth Montgomery, and I think I accidentally threw in some Lucille Ball in the 70s just because there was so much physical comedy.”
For Feige, WandaVision is the ‘test run’ for the web-show format. “Marvel of course
has had a lot of good successful TV in the past. This was Marvel Studios’ first foray directly with cast and amazing characters that we’d seen in movies, coming onto television. And the idea always was to do something that could not be done as a feature. That plays with the format and the medium. There were a lot
of meetings before people actually understood what we were trying to go for, and we’re only sitting here because Jac [Schaeffer, Executive Producer and Head Writer] and Matt [Shakman, Executive Producer and Director] did. And, we were able to turn a whacky idea into a spectacular show. We’ve got lots of other things we’ve announced that is coming out. But I’m actually very happy how it worked out perfectly and that this is the debut on Disney+ for the MCU,” he said.
Feige credits classic television shows as an inspiration for the show. “I watched too much TV as a kid. TV meant a lot to me and I found comfort in television families. There’s one thing we talked about early on is these are not parodies. This is not direct satire. We love these things and they meant a lot to us. Dated and silly as they may seem now, there is a comfort factor there,” he said.
Feige also addressed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the MCU phase 4, which led to some major changes. “I hope [MCU Phase 4] says, ‘Get ready for the new and the different,’ and I hope all of our movies have said that over the years. But certainly with the Disney Plus
opportunities, it has allowed us to expand what we do creatively. Yes, the original plan was The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was going to debut first last year, followed very soon behind with WandaVision. So creatively, we didn’t reshuffle. Part of having along a plan is having the ability and the ideas of how to shuffle should the need arise. I’m not saying we were prepped for a global pandemic. We were not. But, we’ve always over the past 12-15 years of Marvel Studios, have been able to shuffle around,” he said.
“This did not require shuffling in terms of creativity but production. And as is often the case when you’re thrown curveballs. But the unexpected has often served Marvel Studios
well. And it has served us well in this case because this show being our first one, I love how bold it is. I love how different it is, and I love that it is something you could only see on Disney Plus. That we have things that you will only be able to see initially
in theaters. Now, we have things that could end and are made for that, and this is very much made to be seen week-after-week on television. It is very different for us and was very fun. It is as bold as it comes thanks everyone you’re looking at here today,” he signed off.
WandaVision premieres on January 15, 2021 on Disney+ Hotstar Premium in India. The show also stars Kathryn Hahn and Teyonah Parris in pivotal roles.