Marvel Studios is set to make a triumphant return after its unexpected year and a half long break. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the studio to push back all of its theatrical releases, but thankfully Disney+ provided a digital safety net just in case. The company is now set to debut its first-ever streaming show, WandaVision, to fittingly kick off a new era of television content for Marvel Studios.
WandaVision follows Wanda Maximoff (AKA Scarlett Witch) and her newly revived android love interest, Vision, as they find themselves in an alternate reality that takes the form of sitcoms through the decades. The marketing campaign has been cryptic so far to protect the show’s significant spoilers, but several things have been teased in the trailers to at least hint at what we can expect from the show.
Spoiler warning for those who want to go into WandaVision completely fresh
The information included in this article is a mix of known facts about the show’s plot and educated speculation based on common rumors that fit the clear direction that Marvel is going in. Let’s jump into the top 5 things you should be familiar with before watching WandaVision.
The Dawn of the Multiverse
For a while, the rumor had been floating around that WandaVision will set up the multiverse storyline in the MCU that will play out in several movies. This rumor was confirmed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige during Disney’s Investor Day presentation when he confirmed that WandaVision will kick off the multiverse storyline that will continue in the next Spider-Man film and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff is confirmed to appear with Benedict Cumberbatch in the Doctor Strange sequel. Doctor Strange himself is set to appear in the next Spider-Man film alongside Tom Holland (and a few other surprise guests). No word yet on additional cameos in WandaVision, but it would be fair to guess that Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange may have a cameo at the end of the series since he seems to be the link that holds the MCU’s multiverse together.
(SPOILER ALERT) Rumor has it that the finale of WandaVision will see Wanda using her powers to rip open the multiverse and begin a domino effect that changes the course of the MCU.
Wiccan and Speed
If the trailers for WandaVision have confirmed one thing, it’s that Marvel is setting up the introduction of fan-favorite characters Wiccan and Speed, Wanda and Vision’s twin children that Wanda conjures up in the comics. It’s a long story back story filled with magic, tragedy, and comic book logic, but the short version of the story is that Wanda uses her powers to become pregnant with twins Billy and Tommy. Billy grows up to become the Young Avenger Wiccan whose magical powers are modeled after Scarlett Witch, and Tommy grows up with super-speed like Wanda’s brother Quicksilver (who died in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron).
Wanda’s children seem to have a slightly different backstory in the show, but surely the two will grow up (hopefully quicker than expected) to become the fan-favorite members of the Young Avengers. Marvel Studios is already well on the way to establishing the Young Avengers with characters like Ms. Marvel, Kate Bishop, and Miss America confirmed to be joining the MCU over the next few years.
Additionally, Wiccan is one of Marvel’s most famous gay characters in comics and is famous for his relationship with Hulkling, who is rumored to show up sometime in the future. It’s entirely possible that developing their relationship will be a major storyline for the MCU moving forward.
Journey into Classic Television
The marketing campaign for WandaVision has been intensely focused on pushing the show’s identity as a tribute to classic sitcoms. Marvel Studios framed Wanda’s alternate reality as a journey through decades of classic sitcoms like I Dream of Jeannie, The Brady Bunch, Bewitched, and many more.
The studio went through extensive measures to ensure the authenticity of the sets, cinematography, and tone of the classic sitcoms. Check out this story for a full rundown of all of the remarkable efforts that Marvel took to recreate decades of classic sitcoms:
Feige confirmed the show will balance classic television with a big-budget superhero spectacle, so expect some twists and turns to occur over the show’s nine-episode run.
From S.H.I.E.L.D. to S.W.O.R.D.
Fans of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe remember when the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division was a hallmark of the franchise. However, since its destruction in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, O.G. fans have missed S.H.I.E.L.D. on the big screen (shout-out to the hardcore fans that stuck with Agents of SHIELD for the last seven years).
The end credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home teased Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury working with Skrull’s on a space station, which teased the introduction of the Sentient World Observation and Response Department (S.W.O.R.D.) This counterpart to S.H.I.E.L.D. focuses on extra-terrestrial threats instead of earthbound ones. Set photos have confirmed that S.W.O.R.D. will have a presence in the show and points to a future in the MCU where S.W.O.R.D. is as prominent as S.H.I.E.L.D. once was.
Returning from around the MCU
WandaVision is set to flex its MCU muscles by bringing back fan-favorite characters from across various Marvel franchises. The marketing campaign has been relatively secretive about this subject, but there are plenty of familiar faces that will show up in the show, as well as some new versions of beloved characters.
First up is Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau. First brought into the MCU as a child played by Akira Akbar in Captain Marvel, Parris is set to bring the modern-day version of the character to life in WandaVision. Rumor has it that Rambeau will be a crucial player in this story, possibly as a S.W.O.R.D agent. It’s possible that Rambeau will assume her role as the superhero Photon or Spectrum (depending on the interpretation). Her traditional powerset includes manipulating electromagnetic energy, but no word on if this will change for the on-screen version.
Next up is Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis. Dennings’ fan-favorite character from the original two Thor films is set to make her return in the Disney+ series. Darcy Lewis was last seen working with Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster (who is set to return in Thor: Love and Thunder), and she is rumored to be working with S.W.O.R.D. during though course of the show.
Finally, we have Randall Park returning as Agent Jimmy Woo. Agent Woo last appeared in Ant-Man and the Wasp as Scott Lang’s probation officer with the F.B.I. The last trailer for WandaVision featured a single shot of him running towards or away from something. No word on his role for the series, but odds are he is working with S.W.O.R.D. as well.
There are plenty of other surprises to come from WandaVision. The internet is riddled with rumors and leaks, so feel free to check those out at your own risk, but this list will give you enough background information so that you are not scratching your head while watching WandaVision weekly starting Friday, January 15.
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