Why WandaVision Needed to Be a TV Show and Not the Next MCU Movie
WandaVision is finally out, and the Disney+ show is garnering praise for it’s outside-the-box storytelling style within the larger MCU. The series, released in half-hour installments, mimics the look and feel of classic sitcoms through the ages, even as viewers get hints of a bigger, sinister story going on behind the scenes. In a recent interview, MCU showrunner Kevin Feige revealed two major reasons why WandaVision was conceived as a television series rather than a film, one being Feige’s deep love for the sitcom format.
“Wanda and Vision are great characters from the comics that we’d only scratched the surface of in movies, played by actors who are so spectacular, and we’d only scratched the surface of what they could do. Putting the spotlight on those actors playing those characters was the primary reason to want to make WandaVision. The way we made it is, in large part, because I spent an inordinate amount of time as a child watching TV and watching syndicated repeats of lots of sitcoms. And when Nick at Nite came along, I’m old enough to remember when Nick at Nite was a new thing and a unique thing … I watched a lot of that and really became psychologically attached to a lot of these pretend TV characters.”
According to Kevin Feige, another major source of inspiration for WandaVision was the Marvel Comics series The Visions, which saw the titular android superhero create an attempt to live a normal life by getting a job at the White House, building three robots to be his companions as his wife, son, and daughter, and moving to the suburbs. But as much as Vision and his “family” crave normal life, they are constantly reminded that they will never actually be like their neighbors. For Feige, the story of the struggle for normalcy presented in The Visions prompted him to adapt the storyline as the MCU’s first television spinoff at Disney+.
“[The Visions] is what led to me to say, ‘Let’s look at putting these two things together,’ and doing what is now our first Disney+ series in a way that it couldn’t just be a movie. It’s not just a long movie on Disney+. We will make shows that are like that, but for what is now our first one, it felt great to do something that could only be done for television.”
The first few episodes of WandaVision released so far have stuck closely to the format of comedy sitcoms. But it is clear that the story is set to take a dark turn soon, as the lines between reality and illusion become increasingly blurred. Written by Jac Schaeffer and directed by Matt Shakman, WandaVision features an ensemble lead cast of Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Vision, Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Kathryn Hahn as Agnes. New episodes air Fridays on Disney+.