When Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige and director Matt Shakman sat down with Dick Van Dyke during pre-production on WandaVision, the two creatives had the unique challenge of explaining the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe to their 95-year-old consultant. The funnyman star of The Dick Van Dyke Show, one of the seminal 1960s sitcoms that inspired WandaVision, Van Dyke regaled Feige and Shakman with stories about the black-and-white comedy filmed in front of a live studio audience — something Marvel would put into practice for the first time in WandaVision, its premiere original series about newlyweds Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and the android Vision (Paul Bettany).
"[It was] easily one of the best afternoons of my life. I mean, he is, I'm sure, an inspiration for so many people, but for me in particular, he had a huge impact on my life, and I think the same for Kevin Feige," Shakman told ET Online. "So, the chance to sit down with him and pick his brain and kiss the ring, really, but also just try to soak up the secret sauce that has made so much of what he's done but, in particular, The Dick Van Show be this timeless classic. That was an utter joy."
During their meeting inside Disneyland's exclusive Club 33 restaurant, Feige and Shakman explained the concept behind WandaVision — and the multi-movie love story behind its starring "unusual couple."
"We did have to give him the explanation, and he didn't seem to be too fluent with the MCU. It was great," Shakman said. "He did say at one point during our lunch, 'Oh, I hear you guys have had some great success. That's wonderful. Congratulations. What did you just put out?' And Kevin, who's great, obviously Kevin is this mastermind of this incredible creative endeavor that's had so much success, he said, 'Well, yes, well, we just put out Avengers: Endgame.' And [Dick] was like, 'Oh, Avengers: Endgame? Oh, great. Fantastic.' He said, 'Yep, it's actually the biggest movie of all time.' 'Oh, great. Is it-- What! The biggest movie of all time?!' He was like, 'That's amazing!' It was so sweet to see Kevin realize and Dick realized what they were talking about. It was really fun."
Asked if Van Dyke might make a WandaVision cameo in classic Marvel Studios style — Bettany did tease the series cast a secret actor who is going to be a "surprise for everybody" — Shakman answered, "I couldn't possibly say. [Laughs] Couldn't possibly say!"
New episodes of WandaVision premiere Fridays on Disney+.
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