While filmmakers clearly get autonomy when working on their respective projects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is also a key collaborative aspect to being a part of the franchise. With all stories contributing to a larger continuity and many of them developing simultaneously, there are measures taken to ensure that concurrently developing stories don’t overlap and that certain ideas can be implemented for the grand scheme. It’s a process that has worked for Marvel Studios on the big screen for more than decade now, and it’s not something that’s changing now that the brand is entering a new era with its Disney+ streaming series.
As captured in the video at the top of this story, I interviewed WandaVision creator Jac Schaeffer this week following the release of the revelatory episode “We Interrupt This Program,” and one aspect of the Marvel process I asked about was her time working with colleagues developing their own films and shows for the MCU. Describing the collaboration, she noted that it wasn’t something that was constant through the development of the show – but she did highlight an amazing opportunity she had to get an early glimpse at Avengers: Endgame. Said Schaeffer,
There's coordination when there needs to be, and that's certainly overseen by Marvel and the producers. And I think that they know when those conversations should happen and also when a creative needs to see other work. I sat in a room with Malcolm Spellman, the head writer on Falcon And Winter Soldier, and we watched Endgame together before it was released because we both needed to see it. And he definitely made fun of me for crying through it.
At present there are nearly a dozen Marvel Cinematic Universe shows currently in development as Disney+ Originals, but the fact that WandaVision and The Falcon And The Winter Soldier were among the earliest in the works provided Jac Schaeffer and Malcolm Spellman with an awesome opportunity. They got to see what turned out to be the biggest blockbuster of all time before the rest of the world – though that obviously makes a hell of a lot of sense. In order to do the work they were hired to do, it was pretty important for them to know exactly what was going on with Scarlet Witch, Vision, Falcon and The Winter Soldier (among others) in the wake of Avengers: Endgame.
But while working with other Marvel filmmakers was part of the process, Jac Schaeffer also emphasized that working on WandaVision saw her having plenty of creative independence, saying,
There is that kind of coordination, but then there's a lot of like freedom inside of your own little sort of like play space to make the thing that you're working on as exciting as it can be.
It’s an apt simile given everything that’s happening in WandaVision – which, in a wonderfully meta way, is seeing its titular characters exist within their own special play space with its own rules. That being said, S.W.O.R.D., like the producers at Marvel Studios, are also very much on top of the situation and are monitoring it closely.
With Scarlet Witch confirmed to next appear in Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, one suspects that WandaVision is building up to some major things in the next five episodes – but exactly what to expect is unclear at present. All we know is that we can’t wait to take in the new episode, which will launch on Disney+ on Friday at midnight PST/3:00 am EST.