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WandaVision cast and crew talk influences for the first Disney+ MCU show

WandaVision cast and crew talk influences
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in WandaVision. Pic credit: Disney+

WandaVision will start something brand-new for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). While there have been Marvel TV shows, the Disney+ shows will be part of the MCU shared universe with the movies, all the shows, and movies tying together.

This all starts with WandaVision in January 2021 and will continue through the year as the movies will interconnect with the upcoming Disney+ shows.

The movies are (not including the Sony movies Morbius and Venom 2) Black Widow (May 7), Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9), The Eternals (November 5), Spider-Man 3 (December 17).

In 2021 alone, that includes WandaVision (Jan. 15), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (March 19), and Loki (May 2021).

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was the first year since Iron Man came out in 2008 that there were no Marvel movies in theaters. Now, there will be four movies and three Disney+ shows in 2021 alone.

What is WandaVision about?

WandaVision is a Disney+ series about Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch from the Avengers movies, as played by Elizabeth Olsen.

As the early WandaVision trailers show, Vision (Paul Bettany) is back, which is confusing because he died in Avengers: Infinity War. However, anyone who reads Marvel Comics knows that Wanda can do almost anything with her Chaos Magic.

She created her own children in the comics as well as a new world in House of M. It looks like she is doing both of those things here in this Disney+ series unless there is someone else somewhere pulling the strings.

The Scarlet Witch is also supposed to be in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness in 2022, which could hint that things might not wrap up with a tidy bow at the end of this Disney+ series.

What influenced WandaVision?

In an interview with the Emmy Magazine, Olsen said WandaVision had a Twilight Zone feel to it.

“We play with a lot of genres,” Olsen said. “It can be an American sitcom; then it’ll turn into The Twilight Zone. Then it’s also the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

Sitcom influences are also numerous, according to executive producer Jac Schaeffer in the same interview.

She name-dropped Friends, Parks & Recreation, I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, My Three Sons, Father Knows Best, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and Bewitched as influences on the looks of the fantasy world in the show.

“I knew there was a sort of wonder and sincerity to the two of them. Then you combine that with the world of sitcom, which on its face is false and ridiculous,” Schaeffer said.

“But when you peer into it, it’s calm and warm and enmeshed without shared sense of what home is, what family is, and what this country is. So, we preserved the sanctity of their relationship and gave it a spin. This goes far beyond the banter-y stuff.”

The good news is that Paul Bettany said that the production values for the Disney+ shows are no different than the movies. While these won’t play on the big screen, don’t expect Marvel to hold back anything regarding these chapters of its overarching story.

“The blurring of the line between television and cinema is going to happen whether we like it or not, so it’s really exciting to be providing a product that has absolutely cut no corners,” Bettany said.

WandaVision hits Disney+ on January 15, 2021.

Shawn S. Lealos


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