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20 Magical Facts about Marvel’s WandaVision

***Spoiler Warning: If You’re Not Caught Up With WandaVision Through Season 1 Episode 8, You May Encounter Spoilers Ahead.***

1. WandaVision takes place in 2023, approximately three weeks after the events of Avengers: Endgame, after Teyonah Parris’s Monica Rambeau returns from Thanos’s snap and heads back to work at S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient Weapon Observation Response Division). In the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), this places the WandaVision timeline before Spider-Man: Far from Home, which occurs several months after Endgame.

2. Rambeau (aka Photon) was specifically brought into the series for further adventures in film and will feature in Captain Marvel II. According to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, “The notion of Monica Rambeau in this series was very natural; needing a particular type of role and a particular type of storytelling device, that at Marvel can become more than that if we make it a character that we know we have stories for…. We always knew that Monica would have a future within the MCU. The ability to further meet her as Teyonah Parris in this series, before the movie, was this organic shift. And it certainly helps that WandaVision creator and showrunner Jac Schaeffer was also a writer on Captain Marvel.”

3. Though Parris had no idea who/what she was auditioning for when she was called in for a Marvel part, she had already been fan-cast as Monica Rambeau on Twitter “years before …oh, I knew Monica was a superhero before I even got the role because fans on Twitter had been fan-casting me as Monica Rambeau. This is way pre-Captain Marvel. So I looked her up, just very casually, like, ‘Oh she’s pretty cool. She’ll never see the light of day. Moving on!’ So that was really my introduction to her, maybe, like five or six years ago when fans started doing that. So when she showed up in Captain Marvel as a young girl, I was like, ‘Ooo! Okay!’ But again, I didn’t expect that she would become a full-grown woman and character in the MCU. So it was a pleasant surprise to learn that not only would I be able to tell this woman’s story, but that the world would be able to see another Black female superhero in the MCU.”

4. Prior to filming, director/producer Matt Shakman (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Game of Thrones, Fargo) and Kevin Feige met with Dick Van Dyke and his wife to discuss the actor’s eponymous 1960s series, which inspired what Shakman and creator/showrunner Jac Schaeffer (Captain Marvel, Black Widow) call their “love letter to the golden age of television.” Despite a lack of familiarity with the MCU, Van Dyke did his best to acknowledge the studio, saying “Oh, I hear you guys have had some great success. That’s wonderful. Congratulations. What did you just put out?”

5. Shakman chose to shoot WandaVision on Warner Bros.’ Blondie Street, where he had skateboarded every day while working (as an actor) on 1987’s Just the Ten of Us. This street is also where many of the shows–Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Partridge Family–they were emulating were filmed. “I wanted it to be there among the ghosts of sitcoms past,” he said. “I wanted it to have that DNA and that weird kind of tension between fake and real, which is what that street really has. You can’t go to a real neighborhood and make it feel like Blondie Street.”

6. Elizabeth Olsen’s first role was playing a nameless girl in a car in a 1994 TV movie starring her very famous sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley. That film, How the West Was Fun, was followed up by another uncredited appearance in their series, Full House, which is one of the series WandaVision has emulated (Episode 5, “On a Very Special Episode”).

7. On the other side of the Atlantic in 1994, Paul Bettany (after some acclaimed live theater productions) was appearing in the British television series Wycliffe.

8. Olsen’s agility with Wanda’s on-again/off-again Sokovian accent is likely due to the college semester the actress spent studying in Russia. She even taught Conan O’Brien a few curse words.

9. While some cast members have teased a huge first season finale cameo, Bettany spoke specifically about the guest star who’ll appear; “It’s an actor that I’ve longed to work with all of my life. We have some amazing scenes together and the chemistry between us is, I think, extraordinary. It’s just fireworks on set. So, I’m really excited for people to see that stuff.” There’s been much speculation on who he’s referencing. Among others, fans have suggested Magneto–believed to be Wanda and Pietro’s father–who’s been played in Fox’s X-Men movies by both Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender. While it might make more sense age-wise for McKellen to appear on WandaVision, Bettany has already worked with the actor (as well as with the star of another fan theory, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange), so it seems more likely Fassbender would be the Magneto iteration to cameo.

10. Kathryn Hahn (who sang “Agatha All Along” herself) was the first choice to play Agnes, who we now know is really Agatha Harkness. Kevin Feige called her casting “miraculous” in that there was a rare confluence of events: Hahn had been in for a general meeting with producer Luis D’Esposito right before the series began discussions about roles. “She was a fan of what we were up to and we’re fans of hers. At exactly that same time, we were sitting in that writer’s room trying to think of who to play Agnes. It probably took five seconds for somebody to say, ‘Wait, what about Kathryn? She was in yesterday’ …We don’t usually cast like that. It’s not usually like, ‘Who came in the other day? Let’s cast them.’ It’s almost never like that, as a matter of fact, but it’s usually never as perfect as this,” said Feige.

11. In a callback to 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp in which he struggled to learn Scott Lang’s moves, Randall Park’s Jimmy Woo finally performed that card trick to introduce himself and give Monica Rambeau his business card. Park practiced for days with a local magician in Atlanta to learn the move. “My learning curve was pretty huge. I don’t have the nimblest fingers,” he said. “But I was able to pull that one off, the one that you see in my intro, which is pretty cool.”

12. Recasts are clearly possible as evidenced by Evan Peters’s appearance as Wanda’s brother Pietro, portrayed in Avengers: Age of Ultron by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Peters’s casting was conceived by Jac Schaeffer and executive producer Mary Livanos, as Disney was working to acquire 21st Century Fox, which  would allow for bringing in the X-Men (and other) characters to join Marvel properties. “We were rooting for it for so long, and didn’t know if it would be possible. …It was complicated to make happen. Evan was always up for it—like, always, always, always. He is a comic book fan, and a Marvel fan. He is always up for the absolute weirdest option. And he’s a pleasure—truly a pleasure to work with,” according to Schaeffer.

13. Kevin Feige’s one very specific note to director of photography Jess Hall (Hot Fuzz, Ghost in the Shell) about Agnes/Agatha Harkness’s magical basement reveal was that “This needs to be dark and scary.” This bit of direction lines up with Wanda’s next appearance (shooting back to back with WandaVision) in the second Doctor Strange movie, which is being billed as the MCU’s first horror film.

14. Hall said Marvel was initially “apprehensive” about the series switching aspect ratios to differentiate between Wanda’s sitcom world (4.3) and the real world (2:40:1, as in MCU films). “I mean, I think ultimately, everyone had their opinion, but I think the final permission came from the top—as filmmakers we all have desires, but we all work for somebody. Ultimately, the decision from the studio came that they were comfortable with it, and that was great because it was a real commitment on their behalf to the vision and integrity of the show, I think. And it was a bold choice, I mean, there were arguments that audiences don’t like 4:3, but I think this has proved that if the content is good enough, audiences will accept 4:3 and they’ll accept black and white.”

15. Emma Caulfield Ford starred in Schaeffer’s Timer and the pair became good friends. Ford’s casting as Dottie Jones was approved by Feige with no audition required. Dottie was described by Agnes/Agatha in Episode 2 (“Don’t Touch That Dial”) as “the key to everything in this town” and though there’s been much speculation over whether Jones could be Mephisto, her most recent appearance (surrounded by yellow flowers), leans more toward the sorceress Arcanna Jones (married to Phil [David Lengel], just as in the comics).

16. Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans quickly recognized Ford as the rabbit-fearing demon Anya (and mistook Dottie’s meet-cute with Señor Scratchy as a nod to Buffy; Ford says it was a complete coincidence). But what you might not know is that WandaVision’s Emmy-winning composer Christophe Beck has a Buffy connection as well. He scored the Slayer series, and in creating WandaVision’s score, was inspired by it: “Going back to my days working on shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that series featured a number of doomed romantic relationships. And the opportunity to write a theme that has that kind of richness, a love theme that can not only convey the romantic feelings of love that you find in a traditional love theme, but also can give hints of some of that tragedy and that sadness that comes from romantic relationships that have certain problems. You know, like death. That was definitely another challenge that I relished: to write a love theme for Vision and Wanda.”

17. Early in their careers, both Kat Dennings (Darcy Lewis) and Josh Stamberg (Tyler Hayward) appeared on Sex and the City (2000 and 1998, respectively).

18. As of February 24, 2021, Elizabeth Olsen will head straight back into the film side of the MCU with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (currently scheduled for a March 25, 2022 release) and according to Feige, there are as yet no plans for WandaVision Season 2. “Lizzie Olsen will go from WandaVision to the Doctor Strange film …The fun of the MCU is obviously all the crossover we can do between series, between films. So it will vary based on the story. Sometimes it will go into a Season 2, sometimes it will go into a feature and back into a series.” Feige did, however, cage his comment with an ambiguous follow-up: “I’ve been at Marvel too long to say a definite ‘No’ to anything as far as a second season of WandaVision.”

19. This ties in with WandaVision Episode 7’s (“Breaking the Wall”) in-show commercial featuring an antidepressant drug called “Nexus,” as Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch is a Nexus Being–one of the few who can alter the Universal Time Stream. It’s also possible Wanda could appear in the MCU’s upcoming Loki series (beginning June 11, 2021), as she and the Asgardian god cross paths in the comics. Additionally, Marvel history includes the Nexus of All Realities; which is a gateway to parallel universes.

20. Speaking of that, although in Episode 5 (“On a Very Special Episode”) Jimmy Woo declares that Maximoff has no “funny nickname,” Wanda finally earns hers–Scarlet Witch–in Episode 8 (“Previously On”).

 

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Written By

Writer and Editor-in-Chief at @oohlo_com, also seen @pajiba, @bust_magazine. Currently working on her first novel, Cindy seeks solace in science fiction and tales of darkness not her own.

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