The “Sitcom Bootcamp” Necessary To Prepare For WandaVision

WandaVision, Marvel Studios’ First Sitcom

Marvel Studios was supposed to kick-off “Phase-Four” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Black Widow last May. Of course because of the global situation that was not able to happen. Then there was a glimmer of hope that maybe the November release of Eternals would kick off Phase 4, but alas that did not happen because again… the global situation.

With theaters being unaccessible studios were turning to streaming services to distribute new content including films. Lucky for Marvel Studios they had been working on a few series that could take place of a film for the moment. The Falcon and Winter Soldier was originally slated to be released first from a variety of series from Marvel Studios for Disney+. But in the end, they decided to switch it up and start with… a sitcom?

That’s correct! On January 15th, 2021 Marvel Studios will debut WandaVision. Their first series from them for Disney+. In a bold move from Marvel Studios, this was also their first venture into the world of sitcoms. But their boldness would go further than that, as in WandaVision they would be venturing into various decades of sitcoms going as far back as the 50s through the 2000s.

WandaVision
Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved.

From what Disney and Marvel Studios have shown us so far, I am excited to say that they do a phenomenal job. They are able to stay true to the spirit of the era’s sitcom. While still being interwoven in the vast MCU. This weekend, we had the opportunity to take part in a virtual press conference for WandaVision, where we got to hear from the cast and creative team of the series. Along with various production notes that gave us more insights on how the series was created and what we can expect.

ALSO SEE: WANDAVISION TV SPOT & EPISODE COUNT REVEALED

So how did they put together this sitcom concept and connect it to the MCU? Director Matt Shakman commented that it all began with a lot of research. “It was really important to us from the get-go that we weren’t parodying sitcoms. We studied tone and style from era to era. We wanted to make sure the actors were really fluent in all of these different styles. So, we had a sitcom Bootcamp with the cast before we began. We watched old episodes and we tried on different styles to figure out the physicality and the sound for each era.”

WandaVision
Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2020. All Rights Reserved.

Lead WandaVision actress Elizabeth Olsen talked about some of the things that she took careful note of when researching past sitcoms. “Matt led us through a sitcom crash course,” she says. “We watched episodes from the specific shows we wanted to reference in each decade. And as I would any period piece, I worked on the vocal changes as well as the physical manners of the periods. There is also a really amazing arc in sitcoms throughout the decades that is a tug-o-war between earnestness and cynicism. I loved how Jac Schaeffer used these tonal shifts from decade to decade to directly affect Wanda’s emotional journey.”

This is Marvel Studios’ first venture into the world of sitcoms. So it was vital for them to stay true to the genre. Specifically, as they focused on family sitcoms that offered their viewers comfort. Watching series like The Dick Van Dyke Show, I Love Lucy,  and The Brady Bunch really helped get them ready for this series. What a better way to kick-off phase four than with some comfort right? Especially in the time that we are living.

Are you excited for a sitcom style MCU series? Let us know in the comment section below!

Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, premieres on January 15th, 2021 exclusively on Disney+.

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Emmanuel Gomez

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