The amount of time left until WandaVision arrives is gradually shrinking. It seems like just yesterday that the Disney+ series received a title and added Paul Bettany as Elizabeth Olsen’s co-star. There's still a lot we don't know about the sitcom-inspired series, but fans are now learning that Marvel reached out to a comedy legend while prepping the series.
If you've seen the wild first trailer for WandaVision, you might have a good idea. The Disney+ Marvel series takes a cue from an assortment of beloved sitcoms, including The Dick Van Dyke Show. So who better than Dick Van Dyke himself, who starred opposite Mary Tyler Moore on the vintage show, to offer some advice on how to do an ambitious Marvel sitcom?
It turns out Marvel Studios reached out to the 94-year-old actor while presenting WandaVision at last year's D23 Expo. So what advice did Dick Van Dyke have to impart as the Disney+ series got underway? WandaVision director Matt Shakman explained, telling EW:
[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. His answer was really simple: He basically said that if it couldn’t happen in real life, it couldn’t happen on the show.
Someone please give Dick Van Dyke a point for his solid insight. The comedy legend's comment on relatability is spot-on and, as a sitcom fan, I agree that it's part of the genre’s magic. Everything that happens within the confines of a sitcom tends to be incredibly relatable and can covey everyday problems. Sitcoms -- or situation comedies -- sit in a unique genre position, as they don't contain the same stories as sweeping dramas or more outrageous comedies, but contain stories that are substantial enough to fuel a half-hour comedy.
A perfect example of this would be the magic of Elizabeth Olsen’s sisters’ classic show, Full House. Olsen even shared how filming WandaVision reminded her of that series. But like many sitcoms, Full House owes a great deal to The Dick Van Dyke Show, which paved the way with five seasons and over 150 episodes of gleeful, physical comedy and snappy dialogue galore.
So how much will WandaVision borrow from The Dick Van Dyke Show? That remains to be seen, but fans will find out soon enough. Despite coronavirus-induced delays that swept the industry, WandaVision is still scheduled to arrive before the end of this year. For now, all that's left to do is anticipate its premiere and speculate with any last-minute questions we might have.
And of course, we can also continue pouring over interviews and promotional tidbits that come around the bend. The trailer has teased WandaVision’s sitcom-fueled inspiration with its zany sneak peek from a couple of months back. It saw Wanda and Vision handling the highs and lows of life like Dick Van Dyke’s Rob Petrie, just with a sci-fi bent. The show is also bringing back surprising characters and telling a feverishly imaginative story that Paul Bettany has called Marvel’s “oddest of all” projects. WandaVision is slated to premiere this December 2020 as one of the new shows arriving on this fall’s schedule.