While previous trailers for Disney+’s first Marvel series, WandaVision, have been expectedly cryptic, they have also made one thing very clear: this won’t be your typical Marvel outing.
All first looks at the show have revealed that much of it will be paying homage to classic sitcoms like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Roseanne, and more. Now the show’s unusual approach has been confirmed in a sprawling EW feature. According to EW’s reporting, WandaVision isn’t just a take on sitcoms, it basically is one (with some Marvel twists thrown in of course).
For starters, WandaVision actually filmed portions of its six episodes before a live studio audience in the traditional network sitcom style. The power of the NDAs that those lucky audiences signed must significantly surpass that of the collected Infinity Stones. And then there’s the fact that WandaVision writer Jac Schaeffer and director Matt Shakman enrolled in “sitcom school” … which is probably metaphorical, though it’s fun to think of there being an actual institution of higher learning for television shows.
Last summer during Disney’s D23 Expo, Shakman, Schaeffer, and Marvel Studio Head Kevin Feige grabbed lunch with comedy legend Dick Van Dyke to glean the secrets of The Dick Van Dyke show.
“[The Dick Van Dyke Show] can be very broad with silly physical-comedy gags, and yet it never feels false, and I wondered how they did that,” Shakman told EW. “His answer was really simple: He basically said that if it couldn’t happen in real life, it couldn’t happen on the show.”
WandaVision was ultimately filmed at the famed Blondie Street at the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank where TV classics like The Partridge Family and Bewitched filmed.
The EW piece is worth reading in its entirety to poke around for secrets and Easter eggs surrounding WandaVision, like how Feige presented Scarlet Witch actress Elizabeth Olsen with particular spoiler-y comics to inspire her series performance, or how the series will have implications for upcoming Marvel film Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
But really it’s all worth it just check in on how committed the Marvel team is to replicating the classic sitcom formula … and for how amped the stars sound to engage in this hallowed TV tradition. As Vision actor Paul Bettany told EW:
“I thought, God, I’ve ruined my whole life. I should have been doing sitcoms all this time.”
WandaVision still does not yet have a confirmed release date but it will be arriving at some point this winter.