WANDAVISION: 10 Biggest Takeaways From The Global Press Conference For The Upcoming Marvel Studios Series

WANDAVISION: 10 Biggest Takeaways From The Global Press Conference For The Upcoming Marvel Studios Series

Over the weekend, we were granted an exclusive opportunity to attend the global press conference for Marvel Studios' WandaVision, where we got to hear from the cast, director, writer, and Kevin Feige!

Over the weekend, we were granted an exclusive opportunity to attend the virtual global press conference for Marvel Studios' WandaVision, the first chapter in Phase 4 and the first live-action television series from Marvel Studios. We got to hear from the awesome all-star cast as well as the filmmakers behind the magic, including Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige.

The attendees included Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), Paul Bettany (The Vision), Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau), Kathryn Hahn (Agnes), director Matt Shakman, writer Jac Schaefer, and as mentioned above, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

Here are our ten biggest takeaways from the global press conference that should more than convince you to check out Marvel Studios' first television series! 

  1. Wanda Maximoff and Vision Get The Spotlight
    • After playing key supporting parts in previous MCU adventures, the Scarlet Witch and the Vision are finally getting some much-deserved time in the spotlight, and they definitely don't disappoint as we get to see them in a whole new light. 
    • While their pasts have been engulfed in one tragedy after another, the beginning of WandaVision picks up with the couple happily married in the seemingly blissful Westview, although as you can imagine, there's more to the town than meets the eye. 
       
  2. Monica Rambeau Returns As An Adult (Working For S.W.O.R.D.)
    • After making her debut as a young girl in Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau is back for Round 2, but this time, she's an adult played by Teyonah Parris and has seemingly followed in her childhood hero's footsteps, joining S.W.O.R.D. to protect Earth from extraterrestrial threats. 
    • While there's more to be revealed, Parris also confirmed her involvement in Nia DaCosta's Captain Marvel 2, where she'll co-star opposite Brie Larson (Carol Danvers) and Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan).
       
  3. It Feels Like An Authentic Sitcom 
    • If it isn't clear by now, WandaVision is absolutely a sitcom, which is something you may want to prepare for as the first three installments are extremely light on any superhero action. Despite that, it's hard not to get reeled in by the cast's infectious energy as they all completely commit to their roles and the bizarre setting they find themselves in. 
    • Director Matt Shakman speaks on the show's authenticity "We wanted to be as authentic as possible. That was one of the biggest goals and so production design, cinematography, costuming, everything was about going on this deep dive and with the actors we all wanted to do the same thing, so we watched just a ton of old television episodes, talked about how comedy changes over time, because it really does. The approach to comedy in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and so on, is really different. As Lizzie said earlier, doing it in front of a live studio audience, which is this weird quasi theater-TV, it all really adds to it. Lucille Ball, I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke. You can feel the energy of that sort of theatrical performance working with the audience. And then when you get into the 60s shows like Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie, it is a fourth wall, and all of a sudden it's much more like doing a movie these days, and that laugh track is all canned and brought in. It changes the energy, the approach, the style, everything. So, we also worked with a fabulous dialect coach to work on how the people would sound in that era, how they would move, we just did everything we could to make it as authentic as possible."
       
  4. Marvel Studios' First Foray Into Television
    • While this won't be the first live-action Marvel series on television, it will hold the distinct honor of being the first live-action Marvel Studios series to hit the small screen, meaning it's the first Marvel series to be set firmly in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.  
    • Kevin Feige said, "This was our test run. This was Marvel Studios - Marvel, of course, has had a lot of good, successful TV in the past - but this was Marvel Studios’ first foray, directly with, the cast and amazing characters that we'd seen in movies, coming onto television. The idea was, yes, to do something that could not be done as a feature film. Something that plays with the format and plays with the medium and there were a lot of meetings before people actually, sort of, understood what we were trying to go for, and we're only sitting here now because Jac and Matt did and were able to turn a whacky idea into a spectacular show."
       
  5. It's A Love Story
    • At its core, WandaVision is ultimately a love story, and even though there's almost certainly something fishy going on with Vision's sudden resurrection, the fan-favorite couple's moments together in the early installments  most certainly make this a must-watch.
    • Writer Jac Schaeffer expresses her love for their epic romance, "I think that Wanda and Vision are really as a couple a fan favorite because their love story has been so very tragic but also really kind of warm and intimate, and we've seen them have these really beautiful stolen moments in the MCU. It's actually been a small amount of screen time, but very powerful and very soulful, and what we have with WandaVision is really I think a treat for all is we're sort of opening up the stage and the space for them and they're in this domestic sphere. We get to see them doing dishes in the kitchen and being cute and, just all the sort of like homebody stuff that you would never get to see a superhero participate in. So, we really go from these enormous sorts of dramatic moments, and kind of heartbreaking moments in the MCU and then in WandaVision, it's a lot of cute-cute until it's not."
       
  6. The Commercials Tell Their Own Story...
    • Once you get started, you'll begin to pick up on the show's many in-episode commercials, and while the casual fan may disregard these quick snippets, you'd be wise to pay extra attention to these fleeting moments as they may be telling a bigger story.
    • Kevin Feige teases, "Yes, there is [something going on]. We needed a way to show how the other truths of the show beginning to leak out and commercials was an early idea for that. If this is the very first MCU thing you're watching, it's just a strange version of a '50s or '60s commercial that you'll have to keep watching the series to understand, but if you have been watching all of the movies, you might be able to start connecting what those things mean and how they tie to the past."
       
  7. It's As Important To The MCU As The Theatrical Films
    • If you're a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then this is must-see TV, and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige wants everyone to know that what happens in WandaVision is just as important to Phase 4 and beyond as the movies are.
    • "We want to make people understand these projects on Disney Plus are as important as the projects going into theaters, and we want to feel that same excitement - and the Disney marketing team is best in the world at doing that. They certainly showed that they can do it spectacularly with The Mandalorian, and also the fun weekly discussion, which I guess happens on all week-to-week television and doesn't happen as much when series drop all at once on streaming services and I think Disney was very smart to do the week by week release because that conversation that happens every week between episodes is very important."
       
  8. Elizabeth Olsen Gives The Performance Of A Lifetime
    • It's hard to heap more praise on series lead Elizabeth Olsen, but she really is so wonderful in the series and gives arguably her best performance yet as Wanda Maximoff, which should be more than enough reason to tune in this weekend. 
    • For her prep, she did a considerable amount of research to get better acquainted with classic television shows and ultimately even ended up acting in front a live studio audience for the first time in her career. While she didn't mention picking up any pointers from her über-famous sisters, it's hard to imagine she didn't seek their counsel for at least one episode, which may or may not draw some inspiration from Full House
       
  9. Lots of Love for Dick Van Dyke
    • A recurring theme throughout the press conference was how much The Dick Van Dyke Show influenced the early episodes of WandaVision, as director Matt Shakman did his best to pay homage to the classic sitcom while star Paul Bettany tried to infuse some of Van Dyke's energy into his own performance as this very different version of Vision.
    • Shakman recalled a lunch meeting with Dick Van Dyke himself during pre-production and revealed the amazing advice they received. "I remember Kevin and I had this amazing lunch with Dick Van Dyke, that remains one of the great afternoons of my life, and we asked him, what was the sort of governing principle behind the Dick Van Dyke Show? Why did it work so well? And he said if it couldn't happen in real life, it can't happen on the show. Right, so if you're drawing something that's grounded and it's real and it’s resonating with everyone's experience at home, you can do crazy things. You can tumble over ottomans. You can be goofy. You can be anything, but as long as it's grounded in real life, that makes it work. So, I think a lot of the reference points that we gravitated towards were those kinds of shows."
       
  10. The Marvel Cinematic Universe Is Back, Baby! 
    • Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it's been nearly two years since our last adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while the status of Black WidowShang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and The Eternals remains to-be-determined, WandaVision really is a welcome return to the MCU and should make for a couple of really fun weeks to start the year.

Check out my full video interview - which contains potential minor SPOILERS - with director Matt Shakman and actress Kathryn Hahn below! 

Welcome to WandaVision. Coming soon to Disney+. Marvel Studios' captivating new series "WandaVision" stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, and marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.

WandaVision premieres on January 15, exclusively on Disney+

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