WandaVision will be a stark change for Marvel Studios not only because it will be the company’s first TV venture but because it will also signify a major tonal shift. The Disney+ series takes the characters of Wanda Maximoff and Vision and places them in a world inspired by classic sitcoms. This caused Marvel to change up the way it approached the series, including bringing in a live studio audience. Although the actors haven’t mentioned any story specifics, Paul Bettany has offered some thoughts on what it was like to shoot the first episode.
When it came to filming WandaVision’s first installment, it sounds like the cast and crew wanted to be as authentic as possible. Bettany told Sirius XM's The Jess Cagle Show the crew shot it just like a vintage sitcom would have been done, including making the episode in a relatively short amount of time:
We shot the first episode in two days in front of a live studio audience, and we shot it exactly as you would have shot one of those shows in the ’50s, like The Dick Van Dyke Show or I Love Lucy. It was such a thrill and it was so bonkers and fun.
Being able to complete an episode of a Marvel Cinematic Universe show in two days is quite impressive. But it does make sense when you consider that sitcoms typically don’t take too long to tape. Still, kudos to Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen and their colleagues for getting things done so efficiently. With is, it’s also great to hear that the creators put a firm emphasis on making the show as authentic as possible in this way.
Marvel Studios also found other ways to fully embrace the style and tone of classic American sitcoms. Ahead of filming WandaVision, the studio went as far as to consult with TV legend Dick Van Dyke for advice on the best way to proceed.
When it comes to the style of WandaVision, Paul Bettany has had nothing but positive things to say about the show, as he believes it to be the “oddest of all” the Marvel Cinematic Universe projects. He also feels that the series is perfect for television because Marvel Studios has already been using a streamlined TV approach when it comes to its films. Of course, he did point out that it differs from many other shows in that it had an extremely generous budget.
It seems like WandaVision was something of a dream come true for Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen, as the actors really got to swing for the fences with their performances this time around. And to think, Bettany initially thought he was being fired when Marvel first called him in to discuss the show. Thankfully (for him and fans), he’s back for another round of MCU craziness.
WandaVision makes its Disney+ debut on January 15.