WandaVision, Marvel's first original Disney Plus TV show, is set for release sometime in 2020. From the trailer, it was apparent that the series is inspired by classic sitcoms – and now, thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we know just how much those shows influenced the series’ development.
Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, explained: “I would get ready for the day and watch some old sitcom because I couldn’t take the news anymore... Getting ready to go to set over the last few years, I kept thinking of how influential these programmes were on our society and on myself, and how certainly I was using it as an escape from reality where things could be tied up in a nice bow in 30 minutes.”
The first episode of WandaVision was even filmed with a live studio audience, and the production also used the same techniques as a vintage sitcom – with crew members in period dress. Head writer Jac Schaeffer said: “The show is a love letter to the golden age of television," but explained that WandaVision will make the sitcom genre its own: “We’re paying tribute and honouring all of these incredible shows and people who came before us, [but] we’re also trying to blaze new territory.”
As research, director Matt Shakman and Feige even chatted to Dick Van Dyke at Disneyland: “[The Dick Van Dyke Show] can be very broad with silly physical-comedy gags, and yet it never feels false, and I wondered how they did that,” Shakman said. “[Van Dyke’s] answer was really simple: He basically said that if it couldn’t happen in real life, it couldn’t happen on the show.”
It won’t all be '50s sitcoms, however – as well as hopping through time periods, the show will also explore Wanda’s reality-twisting powers.
Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda, said: “It’s been the biggest gift that Marvel’s given me, getting to do this show.” She added: “You get to just focus on [Wanda] and not how she felt through everyone else’s storylines.”
Wanda and Vision’s strange love story will also be a key part of the series, with Schaeffer commenting: “It’s always so appealing when outsiders find each other.” She went on to say that, “they’re both different with capital Ds. Wanda has so much pain, and Vision has so much curiosity.”
It sounds like we’re in for something weird but moving, with Wanda and Vision’s “quirky relationship”, as co-star Paul Bettany puts it, at the heart of the series.
Until WandaVision hits the small screen, check out everything we know about Marvel Phase 4 so far.