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Theory Thursday: Wild ‘WANDAVISION’ Wonderings

WandaVision may be the first MCU project of Phase 4, but Marvel Studios has managed to keep the series relatively under wraps compared to shows and movies coming out further down the line. This series is supposedly a personal favorite of Kevin Feige’s, one he wants to keep as much of a surprise as possible for fans until it’s officially released. But the crumbs of content we’ve gotten thus far have provided much area for speculation and theorizing. Take this piece of official art for the show drawn by Director of Visual Development Andy Park, which combined with the caption on Instagram may be hinting at a concept I’ve had a feeling WandaVision may be dipping into for awhile now.

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That “I won’t give details on specifically why I did this, but you’ve seen the trailer so you’ve seen them in these costumes,” line nods to this design being more meaningful than just simply art for merch (though those t-shirts featuring it are admittedly fantastic). And it tells us that the mystery here isn’t supposed to be the “reveal” of the costumes, since we’ve already seen those in the trailer.

 

As has been discussed and teased aplenty by now, WandaVision will pay homage to various sitcom eras, with even some direct references to specific shows. And anyone who’s seen the 1964-1972 ABC series Bewitched will feel a sense of…familiarity when looking at Park’s piece.

Wanda and Vision are wearing the Halloween costume versions of their classic comic outfits in Park’s drawing. It hasn’t been confirmed when exactly the Halloween-featured episode of WandaVision will take place (in terms of which sitcom era or episode number). However, we do know that it will be an important one for the series and one in which things look to be taking a turn into a whole new level of crazy (remember: as seen in the trailer, Halloween is when Vision runs into Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha Harkness and is informed of his death).

There have been a couple of different theories as to when the episode will take place; some have pointed out that the staircase and house setup behind Wanda in the shots when she’s wearing her Halloween costume are quite similar to those seen on Bewitched, and Park’s Halloween art taking clear inspiration from that show gives weight to this idea. On the other hand, the episode being a turning point in the series combined with the snippet of children out trick-or-treating in the trailer dressed in costumes one might see today points to it taking place in the modern era, or one at least a few decades removed from the 1960’s-70’s era during which Bewitched originally aired. Given that the trailer shows Wanda consciously manipulating eras at her will, it’s very possible that both these eras could be prevalent in the episode and the changing of decades through the series might not be as linear or rigid a format as one episode = one era as some have been thinking.

Bewitched was a live action series, but like a few other sitcoms of the era such as I Dream of Jeannie, it’s intro was animated. We don’t know whether or not WandaVision or any of Marvel’s other Disney+ series will have a theme song or official intro of some kind, but with the changing nature of eras and genres in this show it would be super cool to see a different style of introduction for each episode, perhaps one of them being an homage to Bewitched or just the type of theme song segment prevalent in that era in general. This would work if the Halloween episode is set in the 1960’s (or begins there and switches to the modern day later on).

If the episode is set entirely in a post-Bewitched time period, however, this art could be part of something even more wild. As previously stated, the drama and zaniness in Westview look to be getting kicked up a notch in some way come Halloween, and I think there will be quite a few big surprises we haven’t even seen hints of yet. If they showed us how the eras change in the trailer as well as someone (Monica Rambeau) travelling from the sitcom world to the real one…what aren’t they showing us?

The Super Bowl spot and official series trailer have shown WandaVision tackling sitcoms from all eras. But what if Wanda’s power over her reality go beyond that? What if she can alter not only the time period of the sitcom, but its medium?

Yes, folks, I’m saying the world of WandaVision might get a little bit animated.

This is something that has been marinating in my head since before the art was released. Once television reached the 1990s and beyond, a lot of the most famous sitcoms released – The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. – were animated. If the eras proceed in a linear fashion, at least for the first few episodes of the series, things will likely hit a fever pitch as we get close to modern day. And what would be crazier than reaching an alternate dimension? (Going from 3D to 2D, that is.)

If this were to happen, it would probably only be for a brief scene or two, but it would be a great way to keep the audience on their toes and potentially create a truly memorable moment in the MCU. (Or is it the Marvel Multimedia Multiverse now?) And there’s a lot they could do to play around with this idea. I’ve focused heavily on Bewitched because of the drawing and footage hints pointing towards it but there certainly could be elements of other shows mixed in as well. I mentioned animated sitcoms growing in prominence seeing a resurgence around the 1990’s and the most famous of all, The Simpsons, is another show available on Disney+. While I wouldn’t expect a direct crossover between the two shows, I think an animated segment paying homage to the long-running series would fit right in with the ones for live action shows of the past we’ve already seen snippets of in the trailer.

One thing I think would be less likely for them to do with the concept of animation but interesting if they did would be to use it to introduce the concept of What If? to the uninitiated. The sitcom world in WandaVision is sort of like Wanda’s own personal “what if” scenario in terms of Vision still being alive and the two building a life together so it would be fitting in a way. I don’t think this will happen considering we’ve seen the animation style of What If? and it’s nothing like Andy Park’s drawing of Wanda and Vision, but if they end up using multiple animation styles they could take the advantage of being able to backdoor-promote the upcoming animated series (which will also be on Disney+).

It’s very difficult to predict anything about a potential animated piece in WandaVision considering how close to the chest Marvel is holding their cards with this particular project. I highly doubt any footage of such a sequence would be revealed before its official in-show debut and there’s really not much more they could do to tease it without totally giving it away. As I said before, if animation really is incorporated into the series I’m expecting it to either be as part of its intro sequence(s) or a scene where the alternate reality goes totally bonkers and off-the-wall. But as of now I don’t have a clear direction on what the details could be, only that my suspicions of it coming to fruition are increasing as the show grows closer to its debut.

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