In a recent interview with EW, WandaVision showrunner Jac Schaeffer and executive producer Kevin Feige along with lead stars Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen opened up about Disney+’s highly-anticipated MCU series, revealing that the first episode was filmed in front of a live studio audience on the iconic Blondie Street at Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank. This news also came with the release of new WandaVision stills which you can check out below, giving us a preview of the first episode.
Don’t touch that dial… #WandaVision is “a love letter to the golden age” of TV, and now Elizabeth Olsen and @Paul_Bettany‘s strange, sweet adventure with an eye toward the past unlocks @MarvelStudios‘ next phase. https://t.co/WedfUk8VlJ Story by @devancoggan pic.twitter.com/mzIFEwLNDL
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) November 10, 2020
“The show is a love letter to the golden age of television,” Schaeffer said. “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.”
“I would get ready for the day and watch some old sitcom because I couldn’t take the news anymore,” Feige said on what inspired him to adopt a sitcom style format for an MCU series. “Getting ready to go to set over the last few years, I kept thinking of how influential these programs were on our society and on myself, and how certainly I was using it as an escape from reality where things could be tied up in a nice bow in 30 minutes.”
Executive producer Mary Livanos added, “It’s really incredible to be able to tell a long-form story the way the comics did. In a sense, [a TV show] is a multi-issue comic-book run, which is something that, from the Marvel development side, we totally do understand.”
On filming in front of a live studio audience, Bettany and Olsen admitted that they were very nervous about it first as they had to rehearsed their entrances and exits with a special-effects team using wires and camera techniques that were used in classic sitcoms such as Bewitched.
“It was insanity,” Olsen said. “There was something very meta for my own life because I would visit those tapings as a kid, where my sisters were working [on Full House].”
“We were all so high by the end of it, we wanted to keep on running the show,” Bettany said. “Maybe take it out on tour or something. WandaVision on ice.”
Set in the 1950s, WandaVision will follow the story of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s superhero characters Scarlet Witch and Vision. The series blends the style of classic sitcoms with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living their ideal suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
It has also been confirmed through previously released set photos that the series will be featuring the Sentient World Observation and Response Department or better known as S.W.O.R.D. which is a subdivision of S.H.I.E.L.D. that deals with alien threats that jeopardize world security. However, it is still unclear whether prominent S.W.O.R.D. members such as S.W.O.R.D. leader Abigail Brand will also appear in the series or not but this would definitely mark the live-action debut of the department and the first Marvel property from the Fox-Disney merger that will be integrated into Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The series will also see the return of Kat Dennings to the MCU, reprising her role as Darcy Lewis which she last portrayed in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World along with Randall Park returning as FBI Agent Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man and the Wasp. It will also feature MCU newcomers Kathryn Hahn and Teyonah Parris as the grown-up version of Monica Rambeau, a character who first made her appearance in last year’s Captain Marvel.
Jac Schaeffer (Captain Marvel) serving as the series’ producer, showrunner and head writer. Matt Shakman is directing the series.