Why Bringing WandaVision To TV Was A ‘Really Smart Decision’ For Marvel, According To Paul Bettany

paul bettany wandavision disney+

The wait has been long, friends, but in just about two months, we'll finally be able to peep what's next for the MCU with the Disney+ show, WandaVision. The first trailer from the limited series revealed...well, very little except for the fact that the first of the shows to continue Marvel's big screen efforts on television is going to be a wackadoo visual spectacle that none of us should miss. Now, star Paul Bettany has spoken up about why bringing WandaVision to TV was such a "really smart decision" for Marvel.

While WandaVision had been scheduled to be the second of the MCU's new TV shows, filming shutdowns in March changed all that. The series was the one nearest to completion when things were able to start filming again, and now it's going to be the fans' entry into what Marvel has in store for us on the new-ish streamer. When Paul Bettany sat down with Collider to talk about the show, he spoke about how it fits in with what we've seen on the big screen, as well as why it makes so much sense for WandaVision to reside in our TV landscape, noting:

If you think about it, what Kevin Feige has done is like a grand TV experiment anyway. It’s sequels and spin-offs, in an episodic formula and spin-off formula, like you’ve had in television forever, just done on a grand scale in film. So, moving it to TV, I think they made a really smart decision, as an homage to lots of different eras and genres of the American centuries’ TV. The difference is this, we had an awful lot of money but we had to make six hours, rather than two and a half, or whatever it was — seven hours or eight hours, but a lot of hours — at the same amount of money that we would usually have to make two and a half hours. They did some very clever things, like we shot the first episode in two days, in front of a live studio audience.

I don't really think I would have ever made the connection between what we've been watching on the big screen from the MCU for over a decade and how sitcoms have worked on television for so many years, but what Paul Bettany said does ring true. The way characters and storylines were seeded into the films in small ways, and later turned into movies which focused on those things, is kind of classic sitcom spin-off 101.

For instance, Monica Rambeau showing up as a little girl in 2019's Captain Marvel, and now coming in as her grown up superhero in WandaVision next year, isn't that far off from Mrs. Garrett being the housekeeper on Diff'rent Strokes and then helping the girls on Facts of Life grow up. I mean, you see the similarity, right?

In addition to the fact that Bettany believes Marvel adapted some sitcom storytelling methods for their major motion picture universe, WandaVision is truly special in that it will pay tribute to several different decades of American sitcoms. The hallmarks of classic comedies like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, and Family Ties are already evident in the trailer, and Bettany promises that the look of even more shows across the many years of sitcoms will be on screen when his new series debuts.

WandaVision will have all of the big screen flavor we're hoping for, and as Paul Bettany said, they had the money to do so, but those behind he show also wanted to make sure to really capture what we remember from sitcoms past for those all important sequences. He spoke before about how they filmed in front of a live studio audience (and had a blast doing it) to make all of the situation comedy aspects ring true, while also saving some money and time so they could give fans the big action and cool special effects we expect.

To be honest, WandaVision sounds like the kind of treat we're all going to deserve as we come out of 2020, so be sure to mark your calendars for January 15, which is when the show will hit Disney+. In the meantime, you can see what's coming up on the small screen with our guide to fall TV, and our winter / spring 2021 premiere schedule!

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.