Head writer and producer Jac Schaeffer wanted to give audiences a new depiction of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). The character who has the ability to manipulate reality itself has been showcased as a villain, a woman in love, and grief-stricken. For Schaeffer, she wanted to give audiences a reason to love the character, not fear her.
“We’ve seen her big power — the head tilt that scares everyone and is so amazing,” Schaeffer told IndieWire. “We haven’t really seen her joy. We’ve never had an opportunity to see her be funny and to see her be in mundane circumstances.” Schaeffer’s committed to turning Wanda into a fully-realized woman, on par with the women she’s written in features like “Timer” and “The Hustle.”
“Wandavision,” which just recently aired its fourth episode, started out by refusing to give audiences too much background, instead plopping them into Wanda’s sitcom world — and that’s by design. “We were very against making a parody,” Schaeffer said. The goal was to always make the series feel like it was a movie on its own merits. That being said, “WandaVision” was only ever presented as a television series. “I can’t imagine this as a movie because we really require the television aesthetic in order to break it,” she said. “You need to feel closed in, feel the smaller aspect ratio, feel the different film qualities, lighting styles, all of that.”
The biggest inspiration for the series’ was the tone of Taika Waititi’s rollicking 2017 Marvel feature “Thor: Ragnarok.” “That was really the movie, for me, that broke my brain,” Schaeffer said. “I thought it was just so daring and so exciting. Smashing the mold, and taking all the colors and throwing them around.” Schaeffer explained that it’s actually surprising to hear how many people are perceiving “WandaVision” to be groundbreaking as she believes “Ragnarok” laid so much of that groundwork. “We’ve been very flattered that people think it’s so original and so unique, and in my mind I’m like, ‘Well, there was Ragnarok and that was pretty crazy,'” she said.
And while Schaeffer can’t talk about Wanda’s endgame, the creator said it’s interesting that the series is coming out as audiences collectively yearn for a simpler sense of normalcy. “There was absolutely no way, obviously, for us to anticipate what the world would be like when the show debuted,” she said. “I was always anticipating fan reaction about the MCU of it, but [I didn’t see] the warmth and connection that I’m seeing with the sitcom piece.” She says that people want to feel good and yet, like Wanda, the cracks in reality are making it hard to balance that desire to retreat.
“WandaVision” is streaming now on Disney+.