WandaVision’s Biggest TV Inspiration Isn’t a Sitcom At All

WandaVision writer Jac Shaeffer and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige discussed how The Twilight Zone influenced the Disney+ series.

When WandaVision writer Jac Schaeffer sought inspiration for the show’s unsettling turns, she knew exactly where to go. According to Schaeffer and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, The Twilight Zone was a major influence on the pieces of the series that don’t directly homage sitcoms.

“Well, we often talked about — when we were in our period sitcoms — that when something shifted from, say, a Dick Van Dyke or an I Love Lucy style into something that was outside of that, that it was going into kind of a Twilight Zone,” Feige explained. “You know, we were thinking about what were the period shows that addressed the odd and the strange, and how could we embrace that? So that’s a little bit about how we approached the shooting of it initially, and the look of it.”

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“Yeah, absolutely. Twilight Zone is an enormous influence on me personally,” Schaeffer added. “I really think that’s actually kind of how I learned to tell stories. It was so incredibly deft at that turn, right? You think you’re in one sort of thing and then suddenly it’s slipped on its head. We were all incredibly enamored of that.”

“Then I think there are a lot of current shows right now, like prestige series that are doing this very exciting thing where you watch a couple episodes and you think the show is one thing and then, by episode four or five, it flips the script,” she continued. “So that’s really I think where the more contemporary references come in, in terms of boundary pushing in genre.”

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Disney+’s WandaVision takes place following the events of Avengers: Endgame, which saw Earth’s Mightiest Heroes reverse Thanos’ Infinity War snap and bring back half of all life in the universe. In the wake of that, Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, has found herself in a bizarre reality where her life is a sitcom. However, something insidious lurks beneath the surface of this picture-perfect world, and that may spell trouble for more than just Wanda and Vision.

Written by Jac Schaeffer and directed by Matt Shakman, WandaVision stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Paul Bettany as Vision, Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo, Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau and Kathryn Hahn as Agnes. The series premieres Jan. 15 on Disney+.

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