Kevin Feige talked about Marvel’s plans for WandaVision and how these shows would help expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe in ways that their films could not.
Marvel Studios will be stepping into unknown territory this week with its debut of WandaVison on Disney+. For the past 20 years, we’ve seen some iconic characters pull off some blockbuster superheroics on the biggest screen possible. But now the premiere studio known for the most successful superhero films of all-time will be testing their mettle on the small screen. And a show like Wandavision embodies that idea as it pulls much of its inspiration from decade’s worth of TV sitcoms.
ThatsITLA attended the “WandaVision” virtual press conference that was led by none other than “Family Matters” star Jaleel White. There, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige talked about their plans for the TV and how these shows would help expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe in ways that their films could not.
It’s an ambitious plan as Marvel Studios starts to expand beyond its theaters to tell serialized cinematic stories specifically made for TV. “This was Marvel Studios’ first foray and-and directly with cast and amazing characters that we’d seen in movies coming onto television,” Feige said. “The idea always was to do something that could not be done as a feature that plays with the format and plays with the with the medium.”
Traditionally, a phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would end with an Avengers-sized event and begin with a standalone superhero film dealing with small-scale crisis. However, those plans changed when the global pandemic hit. But it affected them more from a scheduling standpoint than it did a creative one. “Yes, the original plan was “Falcon and The Winter Soldier” was gonna debut first, last year, followed very soon behind with-with “WandaVision.” So creatively, it didn’t reshuffle,” Feige said. “Part of having along the plan is having the ability and the ideas of how to shuffle should the need arise. I’m not saying we were prepped for a global pandemic. We were not. But we’ve always over the past 12, 15 years of Marvel Studios been able to shuffle around.”
That ability to adapt has helped Marvel Studios become the massive successful that they are right now. And in a way, that unexpected curveball, as Feige puts it, helps “WandaVision” because its ambitious, bold, and wildly different from any other Marvel Studios fare that we’ve seen in the past. “We have things that could end and are made for that, and this is very much made to be seen week after week on television, which is very different for us and was very fun and it is as bold,” he said.
In many ways “WandaVision” is a love letter to the TV sitcoms of old and new as it pulls into the period classics like “Dick Van Dyke” and “I Love Lucy,” the show also embraced the strange and wacky by shifting to “The Twilight Zone.” “You know, we were thinking about what were the period shows that addressed, you know, the odd and the strange, and how could we embrace that? So that’s a little bit about how we approached the-the shooting of it initially, and the look of it,” Feige said.
But as much as generations of TV sitcoms helped shape “WandaVision,” the show also got some inspiration from an unexpected neighbor. “There is lots and lots “The Mandalorian” that has inspired us at Marvel Studios, not the least of which is the StageCraft technology that they’re-that they pioneered that we’re using on some upcoming projects,” Feige said. “It was wonderful to see the amazing job that Disney marketing did in event-izing that. One of the things I was always concerned about was to say anything that we do we want to event-ize.”
Feige wants people to understand that just because “WandaVision” is a show that will appear on Disney+, doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting than what they put out in theaters. In fact, they are of equal importance. And the Marvel Studios president credits the Disney marketing team for making a case being excited to see new episodes on a weekly basis
“WandaVision” debuts its first two episodes exclusively on Disney+ on January 15, 2020.