It’s been over a year since audiences have gotten anything from Marvel Studios. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the studio to push its theatrical releases further back than ever expected. Luckily for audiences, Disney and Marvel are hard at work to bring fans a new, exciting way to get their superhero fix.
The recent rise of streaming services led to the launch of Disney+ over a year ago. The platform allows fans to consume established and original content from across Disney’s broad collection of brands. So far, Star Wars is the only brand with a significant original presence on the service. “The Mandalorian” proved to be a major hit for the platform, and Marvel is on track to join the party this winter with “WandaVision.”
“WandaVision” will feature fan-favorite MCU characters Wanda Maximoff (AKA Scarlett Witch) and The Vision and is said to explore Wanda’s reality-bending abilities in a trippy journey through decades of classic sitcoms. According to a recent Entertainment Weekly article, Marvel Studios spared no effort or expense to recreate the classic sitcom magic.
The EW article reported that many of the sitcom scenes were filmed in front of a live studio audience. Members of the audience signed strict NDAs to preserve spoilers, a regular practice for Marvel productions. Crew members also joined the party by dressing up in vintage clothing to match the era. Wanda Maximoff actress Elizabeth Olsen had a nostalgic experience on set because of her experiences watching her sisters, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, act in “Full House” when she was younger.
The filmmakers also had to take extraordinary measures to ensure the quality of what shows up on screen. For scenes that take place in black and white, Paul Bettany (The Vision) ditched his classic maroon makeup in exchange for a blue paint job to adjust for the way color tones show up in black and white. The special effects teams also worked hard to recreate practical floating effects used in “Bewitched” or “I Dream of Jeannie” for the magical sitcom scenes instead of relying on CGI.
“WandaVision” was partially filmed on the famous Blonde Street at the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, home of the exterior sets of famous sitcoms such as “Father Knows Best,” “The Partridge Family,” and “Bewitched.” Head writer Jac Schaeffer (“Black Widow”) spoke to EW about the unique relationship this series has to classic sitcoms.
“The show is a love letter to the golden age of television,” explained Schaeffer. “We’re paying tribute and honoring all of these incredible shows and people who came before us, [but] we’re also trying to blaze new territory.”
This series is described as part classic sitcom, part blockbuster spectacle. The sitcom elements are rumored to be part of the illusions created from Wanda’s powers, while even deeper mysteries involving familiar faces and exciting new characters unravel on screen.
Marvel hopes that “WandaVision” will launch the studio into a new era in television, and considering the subject matter, there is no better show to kick off this journey.