WandaVision may be over, but plenty of behind-the-scenes information about the Elizabeth Olsen-led Disney+ original series is still coming out thanks to post-finale interviews with various cast and crew members.
Naturally, a lot of the biggest questions have been about the elements of the show dealing with magic and other typical MCU shenanigans, but there is also much to be said about the comic inspiration behind the series, as well as the sitcoms it paid homage to.
CREATOR INSPIRATIONS FOR WANDAVISION
In a recent interview with The New York Times, WandaVision head writer Jac Schaeffer shared how the creative team built on the comic-based concept for the series given to them by Marvel.
Schaeffer revealed that "there was a lot of speculation" presented to them by the studio, and the writers were given the freedom to build on and answer various questions raised by the show's concept.
"At the center was Vision and Wanda and her infamous story of loss, both in the comics and in the MCU. And then there was a lot of speculation; yes, she creates a false reality, but is it false? Is it real? How does she contain it? What is the nature of her powers? Who are the helpers that are involved? Who are the antagonists? All of that was really up for grabs."
Shaeffer also discussed how the team chose the sitcoms that would be incorporated into the series, and why they decided to select ones that fell "on the brighter, optimistic side of the spectrum."
"In my pitch, the 'rewind' episode was a C.S.I. episode. I thought, how interesting to do sitcom, sitcom, sitcom, and then shatter that and be in a different genre. But once we got in the writers’ room, we stayed with family sitcoms and sitcoms that were on the brighter, optimistic side of the spectrum because it is a fantasy."
Finally, Schaeffer shared that she had a concept in mind inspired by The Marry Tyler Moore Show which explored the "work-life balance" of Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda and her career in Westview:
"That meant things like All in the Family and Roseanne got shunted to the side. I had an episode that was The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and it was about Wanda’s work-life balance. Those are spectacular shows and say so much about our culture and ourselves. But we stayed in the zone of aspirational family sitcoms and that helped us find the focus of the show."
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IT'S ALL ABOUT (WANDA'S) FAMILY
Shaeffer's comments show just how much leeway the WandaVision writers had to make decisions that would not only impact the series, but future projects in the MCU. Most notably, Kathryn Hahn's Agatha Harkness is now a villain that can be brought back into the fray if the studio desires, and the details of Wanda's powers are sure to be important in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
The decision to stick to family-based sitcoms that were upbeat kept those elements of the series focused and allowed the "happy" world under the Hex to juxtapose the dark themes of grief and loss that WandaVision was ultimately about. All in the Family and Roseanne are presented as much more "realistic" (for sitcoms) than the likes of The Brady Bunch and Growing Pains, which would make their inclusion odd in a world which Wanda has made to escape life's problems.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show, while a classic, would have been a poor fit for WandaVision. While it would have been interesting for Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda take on a job and to see how that would have affected her personal life, the series already had a lot going on considering the storyline outside of Westview. Taking this direction instead may have made the show too cluttered and bloated.
All nine episodes of WandaVision can now be streamed on Disney+.