One of the notable aspects of Marvel’s WandaVision was the series lasting just nine episodes which ranged in their length.
As it turns out, the plans were for the series to have more episodes which could have offered some intriguing turns.
The WandaVision arc
The early episodes of WandaVision played on a twisted sitcom world where Wanda (Elisabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) lived out various classic TV eras from the 1950s through the 2000s.
It soon became clear that something much darker under the laugh tracks and black-and-white coverings was going on. It eventually turned out that Wanda, broken by Infinity War/Endgame’s events, had let her powers overwhelm her.
She transformed the town of Westview into a world inspired by the TV shows she had watched in her youth in the war-torn Sokovia before her parents were killed.
Wanda was also manipulated by the witch Agatha Harkness, hoping to use Wanda to gain power for herself.
In the season finale, Wanda undid her “hex,” restoring Westview to its previous state with all the townspeople hating her for using them as her puppets.
Among the numerous fan theories about WandaVision was that the show might have at least one “hidden” episode.
When Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) is watching Wanda’s “show,” she indicates Wanda and Vision are on other TV adventures that the audience didn’t see. This had fans speculating an extra episode might appear with more clues.
While that didn’t happen, director Matt Shakman revealed to the Fatman Beyond podcast that there had been plans for more episodes, but they were shifted in production.
Well, yeah, things were constantly changing and getting rebroken. The story was changing, especially a lot of the real-world stuff and the finale. There was a lot of experimentation going on and sort of trying different things out. We also at one point had 10 episodes planned, and we ended up collapsing a couple, you know, just to make the rhythm feel a little bit better.
But yeah, they constantly changed and then of course, once we wrapped in Atlanta the pandemic hit and we ended up having months off so then further changes during that we were doing post-production and then ideas would come up and little changes would happen as a result.”
The series’s structure was unique as the first episode ran at roughly half an hour like a regular sitcom. As the series went on, the episodes grew longer, with the finale clocking in at over 50 minutes.
Pacing of the Disney+ hit
It’s possible that the producers decided a “less is more” approach was better with WandaVision.
A criticism of the Marvel Netflix shows (such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones) was stretching the seasons to thirteen episodes when they could have been compressed.
Unlike Netflix, Disney+ doesn’t release all episodes of a series at once but in weekly installments. This meant WandaVision had more time to build week to week with its stellar viewing numbers, showing fans were interested in what happened next.
Another consideration was the long delay due to the pandemic shutdowns, which gave the showrunners a chance to figure out the pacing better. The show’s high budget (reportedly $25 million per episode) meant a shorter season was better.
This becomes more notable because The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set to be only six 40-50 minutes episodes.
While fans might have wished for more WandaVision, the shorter length may have ended up the best way to tell its story properly.
WandaVision season 1 now streaming on Disney+