There are many great aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but arguably among the best is simply the way that the filmmakers pay attention to the continuity. Every story told makes an effort to stand on its own, but there are always great bonuses that pop up reflecting the depth and history of the franchise. Examples of this are practically innumerable at this point, but we did just see a fantastic one this past week with the reintroduction of Randall Park’s FBI Agent Jimmy Woo on the Disney+ series WandaVision.
When the character first shows up on the show, he greets Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau by performing a quick sleight of hand trick with his business card, which fans will recognize as a fun callback to a wonderful moment in Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man And The Wasp (the movie that introduced Jimmy Woo to the canon). It’s a great Easter egg for the die-hards – but it is also funny to recognize that it required the actor to do a bit of extra preparation for his performance.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Randall Park earlier this week during a WandaVision virtual press day, and having been delighted by his little card flip introduction I felt compelled to ask about it. As it turns out, it wasn’t a skill that Park already possessed before the day of production, so it was something that he had to learn how to do in the days before being called to set. Said the actor,
No, I didn't know how to do it. But I learned it maybe a couple of days before, and worked really hard on it. Cause I didn't want to screw it up. I didn't want like to have to do like 40 takes of that one thing. So I worked really hard at it, and I think, if I remember correctly, I did it in a couple of takes.
Watching the scene, you wouldn’t think that Jimmy Woo only picked up his skills within the week, so credit where credit is due!
For those whose memories of Ant-Man And The Wasp are a little fuzzy, Jimmy Woo picked up the habit of doing card tricks while being assigned to monitor Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang while the Avenger was under house arrest. Learning sleight of hand was one hobby that Lang picked up to try and combat the extreme boredom that came with the inability to leave his own home, and it made a clear impression on the FBI agent: in one funny scene toward the middle of the film, Woo is shown in his office practicing with cards while on a site called “Online Close-Up Magic University.”
In the Marvel continuity, that was before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, and because Randall Park doesn’t believe that Jimmy Woo got blipped from Thanos’ snap, that means he got to spend five years perfecting his skills – which is a fine explanation for why he does it so smoothly in WandaVision.
Will we get to see more sleight of hand from Jimmy in future episodes? We can’t say, but regardless we are excited to see more of the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s now set up to have a pretty crucial role on the new Disney+ series, so be sure to keep tuning in to new WandaVision episodes weekly – with new chapters of the show arriving on the streaming service every Friday at midnight PST/3:00am EST.