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L-r: Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in 'WandaVision.' Courtesy Marvel Studios/Disney+

Prepare Yourself for Something Very Different With Marvel’s “WandaVision” on Disney+

Ever since WandaVision‘s title was released, there’s been a growing sense of fun and weirdness around Marvel’s upcoming Disney+ series. And, owing to the pandemic and the production delays it caused, WandaVision will now be Marvel’s first Disney+ series to premiere, having leapfrogged over The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The buzz only grew as we saw initial images and that Super Bowl spot, revealing that the series would be set in some alternate reality where not only was Vision (Paul Bettany) somehow alive (he was killed by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War after all), but that he and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) were living in the world of classic sitcoms. Leave it to Beaver by way of an Infinity Stone? Didn’t know we needed it, but now we sure do.

Then came that first trailer, and the excitement was cemented. Here were Wanda and Vision trying to pass themselves off as a couple of suburban normies. Created by Jac Schaeffer (Captain Marvel, Black Widow), WandaVision includes some crucial players from elsewhere in the MCU, including Teyonna Parris as the older version of Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis from Thor, and Randall Park as FBI Agent Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man and the Wasp. As if this wasn’t enough to pique interest, the great Kathryn Hahn is in the cast, too.

Now Entertainment Weekly has some fresh details on the series, and if you were already excited, you’re going to be pumped. The first distinction to note is that while yes, there have been Marvel TV series before like Daredevil and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., those were produced by Marvel Television. WandaVision and the rest of the upcoming series on Disney+ mark the first time we’re seeing Marvel Studios and their movie folks, including president Kevin Feige, step into the TV game. This means we’re going to be getting something much more polished, living within the extended MCU, and interacting directly with the films.

Speaking of that connection to the MCU, we already knew that WandaVision was directly tied into Sam Raimi’s upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessin which Olsen will be co-starring. But now, thanks to EW, we know that WandaVision’s classic sitcom structure isn’t merely a feint, but really an homage to that era of television. Head writer Jac Schaeffer told EW that the show is a “love letter to the golden age of television” and that they’re “honoring all of these incredible shows and people who came before us, but we’re also trying to blaze new territory.” The concept for the show itself was actually Feige’s, who grew up watching old sitcoms on Nick at Nite.

Olsen told EW that the series also gave her a chance to really dig into the character of Wanda. “It’s been the biggest gift that Marvel’s given me, getting to do this show. You get to just focus on her and not how she felt through everyone else’s storylines.” Co-star Teyonah Parris told EW fans should expect the series to feel more like a series of films: “I was like, ‘Oh, I thought we were doing a little show,’ but no, it’s six Marvel movies packed into what they’re presenting as a sitcom.”

Meanwhile, co-executive producer Mary Livanos told EW that while WandaVision is only six episodes long, it feels almost like a motion-picture version of a multi-issue comic book: “It’s really incredible to be able to tell a long-form story the way the comics did,” Livanos says. “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.”

So yeah, WandaVision is going to be a must-watch for Marvel fans and anyone just generally curious what this vaunted studio would do with a television series. UPDATE: WandaVision will premiere on January 15, 2021.

Featured image: L-r: Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in ‘WandaVision.’ Courtesy Marvel Studios/Disney+

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