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After the first Marvel-less year at the box office since 2009, 2021 has plenty of superhero content in store — including the debut of the first Marvel Cinematic Universe series for Disney+, the genre-bending “WandaVision.”
Premiering on Friday, Jan. 15, the show stars Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda “Scarlet Witch” Maximoff and Paul Bettany as the android Vision living a sitcom-perfect life — until they realize that things aren’t necessarily as they seem. While it was originally expected to be the second MCU series to debut on Disney’s new streaming service, COVID-related delays means it’ll bow before “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan as their big-screen characters. That series is set to premiere March 19 on Disney+, a few weeks after the first season of “WandaVision” finishes its run.
If you don’t have a subscription to Disney+, you can get one for just $6.99 a month or $69.99 per year, or $12.99 a month bundled with Hulu and ESPN+. With the new GroupWatch feature, you can stream your film or series of choice with up to six friends for a virtual watch party. Disney+ is not only home to all your Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and Disney movie favorites, it’s also the streaming home of “The Simpsons” and where you can find the critically acclaimed live-action “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian,” plus the approximately 50 others that are scheduled to debut over the next few years. (Okay, it’s only nine, but still.)
While full reviews of the series won’t hit the Internet until premiere day, IndieWire’s Kristen Lopez tweeted that three episodes of the new show had her hooked. “Not only is the series a loving recreation of classic television shows (everything beautiful), but the story is so compelling. Elizabeth Olsen & Paul Bettany are adorable and hilarious,” she wrote. “My most anticipated didn’t disappoint!”
Other early reactions were similarly positive, citing the lead duo’s chemistry as a standout, plus the show’s zany, funny, and almost David Lynch-inspired tone and slow burn mystery. “WandaVision” was created by head writer and executive producer Jac Schaeffer, co-writer of “Captain Marvel” and “Black Widow,” and is directed by Matt Shakman with Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige as an additional EP. Other stars include Kathryn Hahn as a nosy neighbor and Kat Dennings and Randall Park reprising their MCU roles as Darcy Lewis and FBI Agent Jimmy Woo. Teyonah Parris is starring in the series as Monica Rambeau, a character that appeared as a young girl in “Captain Marvel.”
Each of the nine “WandaVision” episodes include songs written by “Frozen” and “Coco” Oscar-winning duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
While “WandaVision” is the first MCU series to premiere on Disney+, there are many more in the works. “The Falcoln and the Winter Soldier” is set to premiere next, followed by “Loki,” “Hawkeye,” and “Ms. Marvel.” The animated alternate universe series “What If…?” is also set to debut in 2021. “She-Hulk” and “Moon Knight” will likely bow in 2022, with many more in the works.
A full trailer for “WandaVision” debuted on December 25, though it doesn’t give much more insight into what exactly the series will be other than the official vague description — but it does show how lovingly Schaeffer, Shakman, and Feige pay homage to TV sitcoms through the decades. Feige told Entertainment Weekly that no prior MCU knowledge is required to enjoy the show.
“If you haven’t seen any of [the MCU movies] and just want to step into this weird thing because you love ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ it’s going to work,” Feige told EW. “But if you’ve been tracking the 23 movies we’ve made and following along the stories into Phase 4, there’ll be a wealth of rewards waiting for you as it all unfolds.”