Upcoming Disney+ series WandaVision marks Marvel Studios’ first foray into television on the streaming platform – but it wasn’t supposed to be.
Originally, the plan had been for Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan-starring series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to kick things off last summer, until the coronavirus pandemic unexpectedly shut down the set and forced Marvel to make some adjustments to their schedule.
Now, the two series have switched places, with WandaVision kicking things off this January – but that doesn’t mean Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen’s TV take on the MCU wasn’t also hit hard by the pandemic, as series director Matt Shakman explained to us.
“We had filmed about two thirds of it before we were shut down, and [when we came back] it was difficult to put on a mask and shield, and do all of that,” Shakman told RadioTimes.com.
“But luckily, we had bonded so much as a crew and a cast, and we had developed a shorthand and trust, that you could actually get the work done and it didn’t feel like we were losing anything. The magic was still there, even though we were covering our faces half the time.”
Presumably, WandaVision was able to get back in front of the cameras more easily due to its status as a largely studio-based production, whereas The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – which had been filming in Prague – had more location and action-based shoots to reorganise or reimagine.
Still, now both series are set to debut (with Falcon and the Winter Soldier arriving on Disney+ in March, a few weeks after WandaVision concludes) – and for the WandaVision crew, at least, it was a comfort to get back to the familiar world of work.
“It’s just the reality of the world we’re living in now,” Shakman said of the filming restrictions.
“But it was wonderful to be together again. We spend so much time isolated like this, over Zoom, so it was a wonderful time to be back together with this group of people that I loved, getting a chance to focus on making something great, as opposed to focusing on how crazy the world was.”
WandaVision begins streaming on Friday 15th January on Disney+, and releases new episodes on subsequent Fridays. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year. Want something else to watch? Check out our full TV Guide.