When Marvel Studios first announced that they were developing shows for Disney+ back in 2019, it came as a pleasant surprise. After a bunch of movies which saw The Vision and Scarlet Witch take on the roles of a supporting member of the cast, it was finally time to give the uncanny couple the spotlight.
Marvel has celebrated success on television before with Netflix’s “Daredevil” and “Punisher” along with ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” and “Agent Carter”. Nevertheless, a prominent criticism of these shows came from the fans themselves who wanted to see these characters interact with the larger MCU.
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Agent Carter” did utilise characters like Sif and The Howling Commandos in certain episodes but this was not reciprocated in the movies. One exception would be “Avengers: Endgame” which brought James D’Arcy’s Edwin Jarvis to the silver screen for the first time. The supposed MCU outings remained coy about such appearances in later seasons due to the two movie and TV divisions not being in sync. The tagline “It’s All Connected” was a contrived notion that practically meant nothing in recent years.
Needless to say, there was a real hunger to witness the TV and movie realms bounce off each other, creating a synergy with the movies like never before. As Marvel Studios themselves are in charge of creating these Disney+ events, they will likely embed the formula that has served them well over the last decade.
If you’re lost as to what “WandaVision” is about based on the trailer, fret not. Here, we have the tantalising details and a pinch of theories to prime you up for the first entry in the next phase of the MCU. Let’s dive in!
Originally meant to be the second MCU series after “Falcon and The Winter Soldier”, “WandaVision” seemingly leapfrogged its way ahead as production on the series had concluded. The series will now be premiering on 15th January 2021. While it’s a bummer that we’ll not be getting WandaVision this year (dang, what a missed opportunity to have perfect eyesight), a mid-January date isn’t too far off.
The announcement of “WandaVision’s” release officially establishes 2020 as a most dismal year, marking the first time since 2010 that the MCU has not made any new releases. “Black Widow” and “Eternals” both have been pushed to 2021 and “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier” has yet to announce a date.
According to Disney’s official synopsis of “WandaVision”, the new series is set to “blend the style of classic television sitcoms” with the powered world of the MCU. “WandaVision” will indeed pay homage to the various eras of television, from the black and white days of “I Love Lucy” up till 90s sitcoms like “Full House”. What a way to get the ball rolling here with a television series about television.
The entire pilot takes pages out of a midcentury sitcom, with the use of a grayscale palette and period lenses to capture the perfect vintage quality. A live studio audience was present throughout the episode to provide the signature ‘hahas’, ‘boos’, and ‘awws’ indicative of a sitcom. To cater to the monochrome effect, Paul Bettany was also painted in blue instead of the usual maroon to provide a better contrast to his appearance.
It also seems that Marvel may be having a little meta fun here as Elizabeth is the younger sibling of Mary-Kate and Ashley, who were the stars of “Full House”. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Olsen described her time on “WandaVision” as a full-circle experience, reminiscing those sets where her siblings were filming as kids.
The Unlikely Couple
Returning in their roles as Wanda Maximoff and Vision are Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany respectively. Having made their debut in 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, the duo have experienced a whole lot together, from emotional rifts to fractured ideals, right up to a full-fledged romantic relationship. From the trailers, it appears that Wanda and the Vision have finally found their happy ending as they have tied the knot and are living under one roof in the suburbs. However, all may not be as it seems.
As we know, The Vision was one of the casualties of Thanos’ quest for the Infinity Stones, dying not once, but twice within a matter of minutes. With the mind stone plucked out from his forehead like a grape, Vision’s lifeless body was last seen in monochrome fashion, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes surrounding his shell as they contemplated their loss. However, the sentient android appears to be alive and well from the trailers. So, how exactly was he brought back to life?
When we last saw Wanda at the climactic battle of “Avengers: Endgame”, she had just ‘blipped’ back into existence. Filled with immeasurable rage, she attacked the Mad Titan with all her telekinetic might. Nevertheless, though Thanos and his army were eventually defeated, one fact remained: The Vision was still dead.
A possibility here is that Wanda has created a new reality with the love of her life entirely out of her own will. While she has not displayed this ability prior, Olsen has previously quoted that viewers will see Wanda evolve into the Scarlet Witch that we know and love from the comics.
If Wanda were to embrace the full set of skills displayed by her comic counterpart, she could definitely rise to become the most powerful being in the universe. Her signature ability to manipulate Chaos Magic has not yet been explored. This skill would grant her an edge as she would be able to destabilize probabilities and alter physical structures on command.
Comic-accurate outfits will also be featured in the series, though they will most likely be used as a plot device with the spooky greetings of Halloween. The Scarlet Witch’s trademark cape and headpiece will be worn at some point by Wanda. Vision also dons a costume which seems to be taken right out from his very first appearance in The Avengers #57.
SURPRISE, WE’RE BACK
Kat Dennings, who may be familiar to some from her role as Max Black in the CBS series, “Two Broke Girls”, will be reprising her role as Darcy Lewis, the bumbling intern from the “Thor” series. The character was last seen in 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World” preventing a potentially realm-shattering event alongside the god of thunder. Whether or not she still is under Jane Foster’s wing remains a question to be answered as it has been a decade (according to the MCU timeline) since her intern days. Maybe she’s inspired to become a top-secret agent? – more on that later.
“Fresh Off The Boat’s” Randall Park also makes a comeback as FBI agent/youth pastor, Jimmy Woo, who was last seen in 2018’s “Ant-Man and The Wasp”. This time he won’t be dealing with size-shifting mechanisms but rather an entirely new reality. As such, it would be interesting to see what he thinks of this new card trick.
Teyonah Parris will be playing Monica Rambeau who is an agent of S.W.O.R.D. While the actress is new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the same cannot be said about the character. Monica was actually introduced in 2018’s “Captain Marvel” albeit as a child played by Akira Akbar. Seeing that the character was only a kid in that movie, Monica of the present day would definitely have grown in stature. It is worthy to note that Monica is a superhero in the comics as well, taking on several names such as Photon, Spectrum, and even the title of Captain Marvel.
Newcomer Kathryn Hahn is the real enigma. Credited as Agnes the nosy neighbour, Hahn seems to appear a lot in the trailer, visiting Wanda and Vision in their cosy home and asking the duo questions that they do not know the answer too. So, who exactly is this mysterious lady?
Clues suggest Hahn is or could be playing a version of Agatha Harkness (Ag-nes, geddit?), who in the comics is one of the witches who escaped the Salem Witch trials. Initially appearing in some issue of the Fantastic Four series, she later became a significant player within the 616 Universe. At one point, she mentored Wanda, tutoring her in the ways of magic and witchcraft. Most of Wanda’s greatest decisions have involved Harkness in some form. From harnessing her powers to her offspring, right up to the Scarlet Witch’s eventual madness, Harkness was always there.
It is worthy to note that Hahn can be seen donning a black outfit at one point in the trailer along with a silver hairdo and pointy hat. If that doesn’t spell out ‘W-I-T-C-H’, we can concede with the fact that we’re just mindless muggles trapped within an iridescent bubble of existence.
SHARPENING THE S.W.O.R.D.
S.H.I.E.L.D. may have fallen in the aftermath of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, but it seems that another secret organisation may have risen to the occasion. S.W.O.R.D., the famous cosmic equivalent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is set to make its debut in “WandaVision”.
Christened the Sentient World Observation and Response Department, the concept was created by Joss Whedon and first emerged in Astonishing X-Men Vol. 3. The organisation was originally an offshoot of S.H.I.E.L.D but grew astray of its roots due to tension between the two agencies. Led by Commander Abigail Brand, S.W.O.R.D. specializes in dealing with extraterrestrial threats to the Earth, which is basically what their parent company does…
EXCEPT S.W.O.R.D. has a giant space station shaped like a blade orbiting the Earth’s atmosphere named Peak VII. Beat that, puny Helicarrier!
Interestingly, it has taken this long for the fictional organisation to make a live-action appearance due to the rights for a couple of notable S.W.O.R.D. operatives being owned by 20th Century Fox. Nevertheless, with Marvel regaining the rights to such characters, the studio has wasted no time in making sure S.W.O.R.D.’s first encounter with the MCU shatters their reality.
In the trailers, there are several interesting shots featuring a pregnant Wanda and another one showing the couple with two younglings of their own. Before you go insane, attempting to make out the biological requisites of making this work, think again. This IS a fictional universe filled with magic, science, and whatever ditzy comes in between.
As a matter of fact, yes. Scarlet Witch and Vision did have children in the comics. Due to Vision being a synthetic being, the Scarlet Witch begets her offspring via magical means. The two children were given the names Thomas and William. However, unbeknownst to the couple, Thomas and William were actually fragments of the demon Mephisto’s soul!
To cut the story short, Mephisto laid his claim on the boys, causing them to disappear from the loving arms of Wanda. This eventually leads to Wanda becoming insane and creating an entirely new reality where everyone is granted their deepest desire. Cue the House of M storyline.
Thomas and William do get reincarnated as Tommy Shepherd aka Speed and Billy Kaplan aka Wiccan many titles later. Both of them possess powers of their own. As their names suggest, Speed has similar abilities to his uncle, Pietro. On the other hand, Wiccan has magical powers just like his mother.
If anything, the introduction of Speed and Wiccan would be an excellent setup for a Young Avengers feature. Given the opportunity, Cassie Lang and Monica Rambeau could very well adopt hero monikers in the near future. A group of young teenagers taking on the greatest threats the world has ever seen? Count us in!
A MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
“WandaVision” has been confirmed to tie in with Sam Raimi’s “Doctor Strange” sequel. As we know, the Doctor Strange follow up is titled “The Multiverse of Madness”. Indeed, we believe Wanda’s dabbling with the multiverse will lead to her eventual derangement (hence the title) during which Benedict Cumberbatch’s good doctor will swoop in to assist.
“The Multiverse of Madness” is still a long way ahead of us and it will be a while before we get the scoop on who is appearing in the film and who is not. Nonetheless, the prospects of Scarlet Witch’s arc in the MCU will draw limitless potential. Could she be a villain moving forward? Could Wanda splinter the entire MCU as we know it? All these answers will come when “WandaVision” premieres next year on Disney+.
Are you excited for “WandaVision”? Do you have any other theories about how this may tie into the larger MCU? Lay them all out in the comments!