The Wandawait is over. WandaVision, the mega-hyped miniseries set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, finally dropped its first two episodes on Disney+. Created by Jac Schaeffer (who also serves as head writer), with Matt Shakman directing, the classic sitcom meets superheroes series takes place after the events of the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame.
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their respective roles as Wanda Maximoff, an Avenger who can harness magic, engage in telepathy and telekinesis, and alter reality, and Vision, an android and former Avenger, created using the artificial intelligences J.A.R.V.I.S. and Ultron, as well as the Mind Stone, and died in Avengers: Infinity War.
After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Wanda and Vision are living the ideal suburban life in the town of Westview, trying to conceal their powers. But as the newlyweds cycle through the decades and familiar T.V. tropes, they realize their white-picket-fence life may not be as gleamingly picture-perfect as it seems.
“The show is a love letter to the golden age of television,” Schaeffer told Entertainment Weekly. “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.”
Olsen said she was influenced by Mary Tyler Moore, Elizabeth Montgomery, and Lucille Ball for her performance. She also said she felt “ownership” of Wanda was strengthened during development of the series, which allowed her to explore new parts of the character’s personality such as her humor and sassiness.
“I already felt like I had ownership of her because Marvel always encourages you to be part of the process,” Olsen told EW of her character. “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.”
Bettany described Vision as “decent and honorable” and who “exists for Wanda.” He was influenced by Dick Van Dyke and Hugh Laurie for his performance.
In supporting roles, Kathryn Hahn plays Agnes, Wanda and Vision’s “nosy neighbor” and Teyonah Parris plays Monica Rambeau, the daughter of Air Force pilot Maria Rambeau and an agent of S.W.O.R.D.. Fans may remember her character as the young girl in the 90s-set Captain Marvel. Kat Dennings returns from the Thor and Thor: The Dark World films as Darcy Lewis, a political science major turned doctor and Randall Park reprises his role as special agent Jimmy Woo, who was first introduced in Ant-Man and the Wasp.
WandaVision, which will run for nine episodes until March 5, is kicking off a new era of the MCU known as Phase Four. Despite its hype, the show was not originally planned to be the launching pad for this next chapter. The superhero films Black Widow and Eternals were both slated for 2020 releases, along with a Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but after the ongoing coronavirus pandemic shut down theaters and shuttered productions, Marvel was forced to re-strategize, bumping up WandaVision.
“This was Marvel Studios’ test run,” executive producer Kevin Feige told The Beat. “There were a lot of meetings before people sort of understood what we were trying to go for, and we’re only sitting here because of what Jac and Matt accomplished. We’re able to turn a wacky idea into a spectacular show. I’m very happy and it’s worked out perfectly that this is the first debut from the MCU on Disney+.”