With a week off between brand new Marvel shows, what’s a fan to do? Thankfully, Disney+ delivered with a brand new one-hour special called Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of WandaVision, which dives into how the entire show was made. Even though it’s relatively short, it’s jam-packed with cool facts and tidbits. Here are our favorites.
The clues have been there all along
Both Vision and Wanda were introduced in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, and though no one could have predicted they’d be in their own streaming show six years later, star Elizabeth Olsen does acknowledge there are several shots in that film hinting at Wanda and Vision eventually having a relationship, which pays off in WandaVision.
Taped in front of a live studio audience
To make sure WandaVision’s first episode, which is set in the 1950s à la The Dick Van Dyke Show (which was actually the early ‘60s), the production tried to copy almost everything a show like that would have done. It was shot in front of a live studio audience who were asked to sit on old chairs. Vision’s office set, as well as the living room and kitchen sets, were all on the same stage next to each other. The actors wore period clothing, down to the underwear, and even the crew all dressed up in period garb.
The director was born for this
Matt Shakman, who directed all of WandaVision, saw the show as the unbelievable synthesis of his entire life. He dressed up as Captain America and Spider-Man as a kid, acted on sitcoms (like The Facts of Life) growing up, and directed both epic action (Game of Thrones) and sitcom comedy (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) throughout his career. WandaVision is all of that combined.
A special lunch
Just to make sure they were doing everything they could to duplicate a feel of a classic sitcom, Shakman and producer Kevin Feige had lunch with Disney legend Dick Van Dyke himself to pick his brain. He helped inform them on different approaches to keep the authenticity.
Special effects, not visual effects
Once WandaVision gets out into the world, it’s a Marvel production with the visual effects to match. But when it’s inside, and set in a time period before computers were modernized, the producers made sure to use actual, period-accurate special effects. So when you see Wanda in her kitchen (which was actually blue, as you can see in other behind-the-scenes pics) with recipes and lobsters floating and flying around, those are all on wires.
The Outback Steakhouse connection
Kathryn Hahn describes the character of Agnes/Agatha as a “Bloomin’ Onion”—the classic Outback appetizer—in that the show starts from her outside and just keeps moving down to her center. Hahn added that once everything about Agatha was revealed, there was not any role she’d rather play in the whole MCU.
Teyonah Parris was as surprised as you
All Teyonah Parris knew about her audition for WandaVision was it was Marvel—which was extra confusing for her since she got a script set in the 1970s. She didn’t even know who she would be playing. But she nailed the audition and told her agent it would be cool if the role was of grown-up Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel. Good call.
Her great-nephew made her do it
Debra Jo Rupp is no stranger to sitcoms, having starred in That ‘70s Show, among others. But she is a stranger to Marvel and she said when she heard about WandaVision, her great-nephew told her he’d never visit again if she didn’t take a role.
Only now was Olsen ready for the costume
When she first got the role of Wanda, Marvel gave Elizabeth Olsen a bunch of old comics to read. They also told her not to worry about the outfit because she wasn’t going to be dressed like that. Fast forward several years and now the actress was delighted to pay homage to the classic witch character, but mostly because she’s been able to grow into it. She said it would not have been cool doing it earlier.
Six weeks in the air
Olsen said that there’s so much flying in WandaVision, especially in the finale, that she, Paul Bettany, and Hahn were basically only on wires for six straight weeks.
Anytime Vision is actual Vision, that’s an effect. In reality, Bettany is painted purple and his finished look is added on later. Since that’s expensive, the producers would always discussed how often he needed to be in that form. The answer was when the story dictated it. So, when Vision is home, he’s comfortable, and he’s his true self. (Side note: in the black and white episodes, the purple didn’t work for effects so they had to paint him blue.)
Look deeper at the Hex
In order to create what the invisible Hex looked like up close, the effects team researched old televisions. What did pixelation look like if you got really close? What does a magnet do to it, etc? Then they threw it all together and boom, the Hex.
Olsen says that by the end of WandaVision, she believes the character has put her pain—from losing both her brother and Vision—to bed. She has finally embraced who she truly is and is excited to tell more stories from there.
Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of WandaVision, as well as WandaVision, are now on Disney+.
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