It’s well known that Marvel Studios chief creative officer Kevin Feige is all about inclusivity and diversity within the Marvel Cinematic Universe; and things are about to get diverse in a weird way with WandaVision, an upcoming Disney+ series starring the MCU’s most incomparable couple (Wanda is a metahuman whose powers include telekinesis, telepathy and energy manipulation and Vision is a synthetic android whose body is comprised of vibranium).
Although it might seem counterintuitive to kickstart the new era (Phase 4 to be more accurate) of the MCU and more specifically, its television dynasty with what might be its most underlyingly weird concept yet, there is a method behind Feige’s madness when it comes to WandaVision, a warped take on the classic family sitcom (which will draw obvious inspiration from the Tom King comic series Vision, which featured a similar setting and premise).
For starters, WandaVision will directly set up Doctor Strange sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, wherein Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch will serve as co-star to the titular Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). And despite how, well, strange both WandaVision and Multiverse of Madness are shaping up to be, the Disney+ series will be far from inaccessible.
“If you haven’t seen any of [the previous MCU offerings] and just want to step into this weird thing because you love The Dick Van Dyke Show, it’s going to work,” Feige said in an interview with EW. “But if you’ve been tracking the 23 movies we’ve made and following along the stories into Phase 4, there’ll be a wealth of rewards waiting for you as it all unfolds.”
“The show is a love letter to the golden age of television,” added WandaVision head writer Jac 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.” Part of that tribute comes in the form of WandaVision‘s set; the series was filmed partially on the renowned Blondie Street at the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank, which may be familiar to some classic sitcom aficionados as the same area where sitcom houses from well-known sitcoms Father Knows Best, The Partridge Family, and Bewitched were found.
“I would get ready for the day and watch some old sitcom because I couldn’t take the news anymore,” Feige said of the WandaVision production process. “Getting ready to go to set over the last few years, I kept thinking of how influential these programs 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.”
WandaVision‘s showrunners include the aforementioned Schaeffer (who worked on Black Widow and Captain Marvel) as head writer, Mary Livanos as coexecutive producer and Matt Shakman (Game of Thrones, Fargo) as director. The series, which is set after Endgame, deals with the now married Scarlet Witch and Vision (Paul Bettany) trying to live a peaceful, suburban lifestyle in the quaint town of Westview while simultaneously keeping their powers a secret from the locale’s inhabitants.
“It really does feel like we’re all programmed to know and love and understand these suburban family sitcoms,” Livanos said. “So, to mess with expectations has been really fun.”
WandaVision was originally set to premiere in December 2020 on Disney+ but will likely be delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Update: The official Disney+ Twitter account confirmed on Thursday that the release date for WandaVision will be January 15th.