The Marvel Cinematic Universe is less than four weeks away from finally unveiling the first new project of Phase 4: WandaVision on Disney+. Regarded as one of the craziest stories brought to life in the MCU, Wanda and Vision are about to embark on their own solo journey in an alternate reality displayed through the lens of multiple eras of network television.
The series is already confirmed to be utilizing at least six different eras of classic TV shows, going so far as to use a live studio audience during filming for the earliest of these eras. As Marvel Studios dives headfirst into the show’s promotional tour, more specific classic series have been revealed as influences for this wacky new adventure.
In a recent release from the Emmy Magazine, WandaVision producer Jac Schaeffer expanded on many of the influences that she and the team used for the MCU's first new show on Disney+, and how these sitcoms tie back to Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany's Vision:
“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. But when you peer into it, it’s calm and warm and enmeshed with out 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.”
Schaeffer also listed the following classic series from the 1950's and 60's as specifics for the guide to creating the environment for WandaVision:
I Love Lucy
My Three Sons
Father Knows Best
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Other points of guidance were more modern series like Friends, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation. Schaeffer and crew even went meta by calling back to Full House, which starred Olsen's twin sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley, and describing it as enmeshed into "the fabric of what we're doing" for WandaVision.
Elizabeth Olsen believed that Wanda Maximoff "has a tremendous amount of guilt” as she secluded herself from the world after the finale of 'WandaVision.'
Kevin Feige explained that they had to cut Doctor Strange from the WandaVision finale because "it would have taken away from Wanda," revealing that they "didn't want the end of the show to be commoditized to go to the next movie."
Kevin Feige confirmed that a deal was finalized between Benedict Cumberbatch and Marvel to appear in the final episode of 'WandaVision.'
WHAT THIS MEANS
This doesn’t mean that Joey Tribbiani or Leslie Knope will directly connect with this MCU series, nor will Chris Pratt pull an impressive double duty as Star-Lord and Andy Dwyer, but Marvel Studios is once again displaying their high standards for inspiration.
Friends is regarded as one of the most successful sitcoms ever, bringing laughs to millions while garnering dozens of award nominations and wins. Five years after Friends ended, Parks and Recreation debuted and shined for a semi-new generation of comedy that featured fourth-wall breaks and quirky personalities. WandaVision is also already confirmed to have an episode paying direct tribute to The Office.
All indications point to the debut Disney+ show starting off in the style of 50’s sitcoms like I Love Lucy and advancing through the years, so it will likely be a while until these recently mentioned series come into play around the superhero couple.
A Full House reference will be one of the biggest meta influences in the MCU's long history as Elizabeth Olsen finds herself in a similar sitcom setting as her older sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley experienced as child actresses. Marvel Studios is clearly holding back no punches as they use every source of inspiration at its disposal, and it should make the viewer experience that much more enriching when it all comes to life.
No matter how many weeks it takes, the hype is palpable as fans imagine the many ways these historical TV hits will leave their imprint on the MCU’s first Disney+ show. WandaVision will officially begin streaming on January 15, 2021.