Marvel has imagined nearly every possible crossover in its cinematic universe, but the studio's next TV project is serving us a cocktail we didn't see coming. Ingredients include superheroes Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), the world of black-and-white '50s sitcoms, and…Kathryn Hahn in leg warmers? But that's the exact concoction viewers will be sipping in January 2021 with the arrival of Disney+'s WandaVision.
The six-episode series' first trailer, released in September, had people talking about its genre-bending premise. WandaVision is “a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems,” per an official Disney+ description.
Everything we've learned about the show, helmed by Matt Shakman (Succession, The Great) and written by Jac Schaeffer (Captain Marvel, Black Widow) defies easy categorization. Disney unveiled a new WandaVision trailer that introduces even more time-traveling loopholes to the mix.
Ahead, what we know about WandaVision so far, as well as its official release date and time-traveling theme song.
It will be released in January 2021.
For fans anxious to see how Disney+ pulls this off, you won't have to wait much longer. The official Disney+ Twitter account unveiled the show's release date, along with a short sneak peek. "A new era arrives. @MarvelStudios’ #WandaVision, an Original Series, is streaming Jan. 15 on #DisneyPlus."
That release date is a little later than originally expected. At the start of the year, it was announced that WandaVision would premiere in late 2020, bumped up from its original spring 2021 release date, per Variety. It switched places with Falcon and The Winter Soldier, which has since been delayed due to the pandemic's pause on television productions around the world. A Twitter video from January 2020 showcased projects set to be released from the streaming service this year, including The Mandalorian season 2 and the Lizzie McGuire reboot (RIP).
ScreenRant also previously reported that the Disney+ landing page for WandaVision listed its release date as December 2020, but it was later updated to remove the month. Entertainment Weekly's recent cover story noted that "an exact premiere date was unavailable," although filming on the show's six episodes concluded in late 2020 with social distance guidelines enforced. Alas, we'll have to wait until 2021 to watch the series unfold.
WandaVision will be connected to the Marvel movies.
WandaVision was first announced at Comic-Con 2019 as part of Marvel's expansive move into TV with the help of Disney+. It's part of a lineup that includes series' centered on Tom Hiddleston's Loki, Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, and Falcon and the Winter Soldier, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan.
Unlike previous Marvel small-screen endeavors (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., for instance), WandaVision will be directly connected to future movies. That means whatever happens in the show's first season can impact upcoming films, and vice-versa. However, it's unclear how that squares away when it comes to Vision, who was killed by the villainous Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. He appears to be alive and well in the show's first footage, although that could tie into the "everything is not as it seems" plot synopsis.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who reportedly formulated the concept for WandaVision, confirmed that the show will directly connect to the Scarlet Witch's role in 2022's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, per a new Entertainment Weekly cover story.
The first episode was filmed like a traditional sitcom.
According to Entertainment Weekly, WandaVision's premiere episode was filmed in a sitcom-like setting, complete with black-and-white formatting and a live studio audience. Crew members dressed up in '50s-inspired clothing and period lenses were used on set. “The show is a love letter to the golden age of television,” head writer Schaeffer told the outlet. “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.”
While on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Olsen unveiled a clip of WandaVision from an episode that she compared to the '60s sitcom Bewitched.
There's a sitcom-style theme song.
Another sign that WandaVision leans heavily into the sitcom format is its theme song. Written by Oscar winners Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Frozen, Coco), the song plays alongside a montage of the couple throughout different eras. At one moment they're exchanging wedding rings in the '50s before meeting Hahn's character in '80s attire. It's unclear whether the song will play before every episode of the series.
WandaVision depicts the couple's post-Endgame existence.
For those wondering how the show fits into the MCU's timeline, it will follow the events of Endgame for both Vision and the Scarlet Witch. “We find Wanda and Vision living a blissful suburban existence, trying to keep their powers under wraps,” Schaeffer told EW. Both Bettany and Olsen told the outlet that the show offered a fresh look at their superhero characters. “They’ve had a long and gentle love affair, right?” Bettany said. “It’s a pretty quirky relationship. She’s a witch, he’s a robot. Or artificial person, or synthezoid, or whatever your preferred name tag.”
Olsen added, “It’s been the biggest gift that Marvel’s given me, getting to do this show.” She continued, “I already felt like I had ownership of her because Marvel always encourages you to be part of the process. But even more so now, I feel I have a really strong sense of ownership. If anyone wanted to ask me a question about the future or just a question about what she would think, I feel like this time has provided that.”
As for the mismatched relationship between WandaVision's protagonists, Schaffer told EW, “It’s always so appealing when outsiders find each other. They’re both different with capital Ds. Wanda has so much pain, and Vision has so much curiosity.”
The cast is filled with Marvel regulars—and Kathryn Hahn!
Olsen and Bettany will be joined by a host of familiar faces from the Marvel universe, including Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis from the Thor films, Randall Park as FBI agent Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Teyonah Parris as a grown-up Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel. (Akira Akbar played a younger version of the character in the '90s-set movie.)
Parris spoke to EW about playing the comics' first female Black Avenger. “I feel so special and honored to be able to walk in her shoes and bring her story to life,” Parris told the outlet. “I hope that me playing this character (a) gives a group of people who are underrepresented a chance to see themselves, and (b) seeing my face and my Black body helps them engage with Black women and our humanity.”
In a press conference about the series, Parris revealed that we'll learn more about Monica's life between Captain Marvel and WandaVision: "We actually do get to learn, particularly, what those things are that Monica has seen and gone through, and how they shaped her life," she said.
From the looks of the trailer, the superhero squad will be joined by Debra Jo Rupp (That '70s Show) and Fred Melamed (In a World...) as two meddling neighbors. Speaking of which, Hahn is set to play "nosy neighbor" Agnes, per Entertainment Weekly. But rumors have swirled that she could have hidden powers of her own, beyond the witch costume she sports in the trailer (and Hahn's ability to get me to watch anything she appears in).
The first trailer has a lot going on.
If you weren't already intrigued by WandaVision, allow the first trailer to properly wash over you. It shows Wanda and Vision driving to their suburban home with a "Just Married" sign on the back of their vehicle. The show's aesthetic nods to classic sitcoms like The Dick Van Dyke Show and I Love Lucy. At one point, the couple appears to cradle twin baby boys in their arms. But just before you can get comfortable with Wanda and Vision's happily ever after, it's disrupted by prying questions from neighbors at a dinner party.
The pair seemingly travels through different time periods, complete with leg warmers and a brief Sonny and Cher cosplay. Dressed as a witch, Hahn's character asks Vision, "Am I dead?" to which he responds, “No! Why would you think that?” She teases, “Because you are.”
There's a whole lot to take in—something referenced by the two lead characters in the trailer's final moments. “We are an unusual couple, you know,” Wanda admits. “Oh, I don’t think that was ever in question,” Vision replies.
There are clues in the commercials.
Just like any other sitcom, Wandavision has mid-episode breaks—but not the kind you're expecting. They take place within the world of the series, and feature clues as to what exactly is going on. "If this is the very first Marvel MCU thing you’re watching, then it’s just a strange version of a ‘50s commercial or a ‘60s commercial that you’ll have to keep watching the series to understand," Feige said in a series. "If you have been watching all the movies, you might be able to start connecting what those things mean to the past."
How can I watch WandaVision?
The series will debut exclusively on Disney+, which means you'll need a subscription to watch the twists unfold. For those without a login, you can sign up for Disney+ here and download the app to stream on your laptop, tablet, or phone. Monthly plans are $6.99 per month. An annual subscription is $69.99 per year, and a Disney+/ Hulu/ ESPN+ bundle is $12.99 per month.
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