Kevin Feige explains why WandaVision, the first Marvel Studios series, "couldn't just be a movie" — and why it "could only be done for television." When then-Disney CEO Bob Iger approached Feige in 2018 about evolving and expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+, at the time the company's upcoming streaming service, it was with an offer to build out the franchise unlike ever before. In the wake of Avengers: Endgame and the conclusion to the Infinity Saga started with 2008's Iron Man, Feige would begin developing the studio's first television projects that would tie directly into the MCU feature films.
Marvel's inaugural trip to TV Land would be WandaVision, blending decades of classic sitcoms while unraveling a mystery about Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and a somehow resurrected Vision (Paul Bettany).
"Wanda and Vision are great characters from the comics that we'd only scratched the surface of in movies, played by actors who are so spectacular, and we'd only scratched the surface of what they could do. Putting the spotlight on those actors playing those characters was the primary reason to want to make WandaVision," Feige told Variety. "The way we made it is, in large part, because I spent an inordinate amount of time as a child watching TV and watching syndicated repeats of lots of sitcoms. And when Nick at Nite came along, I'm old enough to remember when Nick at Nite was a new thing and a unique thing … I watched a lot of that and really became psychologically attached to a lot of these pretend TV characters."
Feige's love for movies would inspire and influence the 23-movie MCU, but the studio had yet to find a way to integrate Feige's appreciation of classic sitcoms like The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched. And then Disney+ came along.
"What would give me comfort after school [and] comfort late at night were these television shows. It was the one aspect of my youth and sort of what turned me into, for better or for worse, the person I am today. We'd never been able to really utilize [that]," Feige said. "My love of all sorts of movies and genre movies has absolutely been poured into all 23 movies you've seen us make at Marvel Studios already, but that aspect of my past, we weren't able to even consider necessarily being able to do anything with it."
Along with the development of Disney+, it was famed Marvel Comics mini-series The Vision — which depicts the titular synthezoid as the head of an android family in Leave It To Beaver-style suburbia — that helped birth WandaVision.
"[The Vision] is what led to me to say, 'Let's look at putting these two things together,' and doing what is now our first Disney+ series in a way that it couldn't just be a movie," Feige said. "It's not just a long movie on Disney+. We will make shows that are like that, but for what is now our first one, it felt great to do something that could only be done for television."
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