When I talked to Kevin Feige at San Diego Comic-Con in July of 2019, I posed the question of why there was no movie or series with Avengers in its titled announced during the Marvel Studios Phase 4 slate extravaganza in Hall H just minutes prior. More specifically, would there be a big ensemble event bringing together the characters from all corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the heels of Avengers: Endgame? The president of Marvel Studios was quick to point out that crossovers and tie-ins were aplenty. Specifically, Feige pointed out that WandaVision would lead directly to Doctor Strange's sequel, while also nothing just how much crossover and ensemble fans will see throughout the universe. Now, Feige is promising that Phase 4's unexpected launcher WandaVision will be tying a lot more together than fans might have originally expected.
Entertainment Weekly was afforded the opportunity to visit the set of WandaVision, seeing the Marvel Studios production film in front of a live studio audience to provide an authentic sitcom feel. In their cover story about the upcoming stories, the outlet talked with Feige about the new approach to storytelling which will now be launching the next phase of Marvel titles following a shake up in the release schedule. “If you haven’t seen any [Marvel Cinematic Universe movies] and just want to step into this weird thing because you love The Dick Van Dyke Show, it’s going to work,” Feige said. “But if you’ve been tracking the 23 movies we’ve made and following along the stories into Phase 4, there’ll be a wealth of rewards waiting for you as it all unfolds.”
Between the titular characters of Wanda Maximoff and The Vision, there is already plenty of MCU history tied to them. Wanda first appeared in the post-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Vision first debuted in Avengers: Age of Ultron. They both played roles in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, with Wanda going on to appear in Avengers: Endgame. With the story taking place in a time after that of Endgame's story, WandaVision will further the plot in what it is essentially being dubbed as a 6-hour movie. “It really energized everyone creatively at the studio, the notion that we could play in a new medium and throw the rules out the window in terms of structure and format," Feige says.
With Vision having died in Avengers: Infinity War, it is unclear how Paul Bettany's character is being brought back from the dead (or not) but the actor admits the story of it all surprised him. "I thought I was being brought in to be let go,” Bettany said. “I thought Kevin was doing the decent thing and bringing me in, and he and [executive producer] Louis [D’Esposito] were going to tell me, ‘It’s been a great ride, and it’s over.’ So it was a really pleasant surprise for me and my bank manager, too, obviously.”
In fact, the story and scope of WandaVision seem to be surprising everyone, across the board. Teyonah Parris joins the cast as an aged up take on Monica Rambeau, a character who previously appeared in Captain Marvel as a young girl. “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,” Parris explained.
“It’s really incredible to be able to tell a long-form story the way the comics did,” coexecutive producer Mary 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.”0comments
As for Wanda, who was last seen mourning her Vision in the final moments of Avengers: Endgame, “We find Wanda and Vision living a blissful suburban existence, trying to keep their powers under wraps,” WandaVision head writer Jac Schaefferteases.
How all of the previous Marvel stories and the future in Phase 4 come into play remains to be seen, but a few familiar faces should be expected as Marvel Studios will be sparing no expense to help the upcoming series land well. WandaVision will release its first episode on Disney+ later in 2020.