Fans are now over a year into an entirely new era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The big shift? Disney+. The new tool in Marvel Studios’ toolbox has allowed the storytellers to tell narratives that would have never seen the light if movies were the only outlet. The first, and arguably most successful, was none other than WandaVision.
The show starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany was like nothing else seen on television. The show’s opening episodes perfectly resembled a different decade of televised sitcoms before it was cracked open into a Twilight Zone-inspired mystery.
Eventually, it’s revealed that Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha Harkness was behind everything going awry in Westview. She had arrived to investigate how Wanda Maximoff could be as powerful as she was.
To conclude her investigation, the show’s eighth episode saw the witch take Wanda on a trip down memory lane. Now, thanks to a newly released book, it’s been revealed how that episode once looked very different.
How Episode 8 Looked Much Different
The official Art of WandaVision book has officially hit shelves worldwide, and in it, new information about the show’s eighth episode has been revealed.
Matt Shakman, the series’ director, talked about how they thought of “this particular episode as kind of A Christmas Carol:”
"We talk about this particular episode as kind of A Christmas Carol… and Agnes is the Ghost of Christmas Past, in a way. She's taking Wanda on this trip through her life, and she wants to learn a crucial piece of information, which is: How does Wanda have this power to create things from whole cloth? She takes her through all of these formative events in her life in order to try to figure out what that secret sauce is."
Then, Senior Visual Development Artist Jana Schirmer, who drew the concept art seen below, revealed how the episode once looked a lot different.
Instead of going from moment to moment in the realistic environments, at one point, they were all set to be recreations on various film sets.
Schirmer mentioned how “Agatha would take Wanda on movie sets that represented her past,” with the background containing “camera [and] lights:”
"In the original concept of this, Agatha would take Wanda on movie sets that represented her past, so that's why the background in this one looks like a movie set... You have the background with the cameras and the lights, so much more like a movie set, where in the show, it became more of a full visualization. It was fun to do this really Eastern European background with the wallpaper and stuff like that. I definitely feel like I've seen that aesthetic before in older homes."
The Ever-Changing Tide of Marvel
The idea of Wanda’s biggest life moments being shown via set recreations seems perfect thanks to what came before. It would have fit within the television-themed content that came before and have been a visually interesting way of conveying this new information.
With how well it would have fit, why change it? Well, one guess is that with Agatha revealing herself, Marvel wanted to take an active step away from the sitcom-inspired eeriness to help showcase how part of that spell had been broken.
Another possibility is that the writers wanted all of the reality, and gravity of the situation, to hit Wanda, and the audiences, as hard as possible. Recreations on a faux movie set would likely have been too close to the falsehoods which came before.
For those hoping to continue following the Scarlet Witch’s journeys, the next step in her adventure can be found in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, which releases on May 6. As for Agatha, she’ll be getting her own show in Agatha: House of Harknesss, though no official release date has been given.