Behind-the-scenes Look at Marvel Studios’
Homage to Period Sitcoms
Disney+ has released the first trailer for “Assembled: The Making of ‘WandaVision,’” an all-new documentary-style special that centers on Marvel Studios’ first live-action sitcom – but with a Marvel Cinematic Twist.
Much like “Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian,” “Assembled: The Making of ‘WandaVision,’” is a making-of companion piece that takes a look at all of the behind-the-scenes action that went into the creation and production of the show. The series finally gave Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision’s (Paul Bettany) relationship to be the center of the story.
For most of their films, Wanda and Vision’s relationship was a small side story to the overall MCU that was released in theaters. But with “WandaVision” we get to see their relationship be fully fleshed out. And all of it set against the backdrop of the “House of M” story arc that centered on Wanda’s grief – which also serves as a central part of the miniseries’ plot.
But for “Assembled: The Making of ‘WandaVision,’” we get to see how the show came to be, and how Olsen and Bettany were excited to reprise their characters for this one-of-a-kind show. Also in the documentary are showrunner Jac Shaffer and director Matt Shakman. Along with the cast, the two talk about what it was like to film their first episode in-front of a live audience. As well as assembling all the set pieces.
Shakman talks about how they consulted with Dick Van Dyke, one of the most famous sitcom actors of the 1950s, to be authentic to the period, including where certain set pieces would go. Shakman compares the experience to being a part of a theater, where it is shot once in front of a theater. “The adrenaline, the audience, and the actors feed off of each other,” he said. “And that creates something you can’t imitate.”
Of course, that didn’t come without its stage fright, as Bettany admits to being a little anxious about being in front of a live audience. He even joked how this was the first time being in front of a live audience since 1884. And it was a bit different for Olsen, who had a meta-experience since she grew up on the “Full House” set watching live-tapings on Fridays, never thinking it would be a reality for her.
What’s more, the documentary reveals the bts for black-and-white episodes in full color. The costumes, set pieces, camera lenses, and even the stage lighting were all authentic to that period of time. Even the visual effects were done as special effects. And it is a lot of fun to see how stagehands would replace props or how the wirework helped recreate that Bewitched magic. Even Bettany joked about how he wasted his entire career and how he should have been on a sitcom.
As the first episode moves on, it reveals a lot of the cast throwing a lot of praise at each other and how they believed in the project they were working on. And all of that is apparent, not only in the tone of the interviews but the energy they put into their performances.
But one of the biggest takeaways was to see Teyonah Parris excitedly talk about being a part of the MCU, and how monumental it was to play as Monica Rambeau, a Black female superhero.
And we can’t forget about Kat Dennings and Randall Park, both of whom return to reprise their roles as Darcy Lewis and Jimmy Woo, respectively. “It’s like a big family,” Park said. “Just to be a member of the family, it’s really cool.” He even alludes to how the show brings back so much of what the character established, like the magic and the tendency to connect with people, gets to blossom in the series.
Overall, it’s an exciting look at want goes into the production of these episodes. Especially how Robert and Kristen-Anderson Lopez created a lot of the theme songs you hear throughout the different episodes that pay homage to period sitcoms.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for “Assembled: The Making of ‘WandaVision’”
The premiere episode of this groundbreaking series of documentary-style specials features Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, and the creative team behind Marvel Studios’ “WandaVision” as they welcome viewers behind the scenes of their exciting series. Learn how the production’s surprising concept took shape by drawing inspiration from classic sitcoms. Witness how the crew went to great lengths to emulate various filmmaking methods used during the early years of television. Discover the unique challenges and ultimate rewards of performing an entire episode in front of a live studio audience. Spend time with exciting newcomers to the MCU, including Teyonah Parris and Kathryn Hahn, along with returning favorites like Kat Dennings and Randall Park. “Assembled: The Making of ‘WandaVision’” is an all-encompassing look at Marvel Studios’ first, and arguably most unusual, streaming series.
“Assembled: The Making of ‘WandaVision'” debuts on Disney+ today, with subsequent episodes premiering every Friday.