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WandaVision writer says some of your fan theories are really 'picking up what we're putting down'
The first three episodes of WandaVision are, with a few eerie exceptions, basically episodes of a sitcom that might as well have aired half a century ago, only the lead characters are superheroes. However, the first television installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, now airing on Disney+, is very much a superhero series — it's just that whatever larger plot connects the events of the series to the wider MCU is still a mystery. With the fourth episode seemingly poised to give viewers more of a sense of what's really going on, WandaVision's head writer, Jac Schaeffer, admits that she was a little nervous that fans wouldn't go along with the unique story the series is telling. And, oh yeah, some of your fan theories are right on the money.
"I was very worried about it," Schaeffer tells SYFY WIRE, acknowledging that WandaVision's genre-blending format and serialized mystery, one that viewers would have to wait for week-by-week to fully unravel, "was always a big risk."
"I think that was the thrill of the project," Schaeffer says. "I felt very confident that I would be proud of the show and that my team would be proud of the show and what we were doing, and that it would work. I am grateful that [director Matt Shakman] came on board and executed it beautifully, but I was never entirely certain that the fans would embrace it. I was worried.
"I guess it's silly [to have worried] because Kevin knows all, and he felt confident in it," she continues, taking solace in the instincts of Marvel Studios' top dog Kevin Feige, the man behind the MCU as we know it and the originator of the WandaVision concept. "But, it's a huge sigh of relief that people are on board. It's been like Christmas."
So far, WandaVision has almost entirely taken place within Westview, the decade-changing, sitcom-style, all-American town that Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) move into in the premiere without any explanation. It's only at the very end of the third episode that we get a view of what might be lurking outside Westview. That's when Geraldine (confirmed to actually be Captain Marvel's Monica Rambeau, as played by Teyonah Parris) is seemingly ejected from the town, landing in an empty field surrounded by military personnel and some sort of shimmering wall. What's going on?
Marvel fans have all sorts of theories. Is S.W.O.R.D., a S.H.I.E.L.D. counterpart whose existence has been hinted at in the early episodes, keeping Wanda prisoner — either for her safety or for the safety of those around her? Is Wanda, using reality-warping powers most infamously seen in the comic series House of M, creating an alternate reality where she's living happily with a not-dead Vision? Is there magic afoot, perhaps linked to the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which has a confirmed connection to the Disney+ series? One-third of the way through WandaVision and it's too early to tell, but viewers have ideas.
The theorizing has gotten to the point where there's suspicion that pretty much every character we've seen so far whose name isn't Wanda or Vision is actually, secretly, somebody from Marvel Comics canon. Kathryn Hahn's neighbor character Agnes is thought to really be Agatha Harkness, a powerful witch from the comics. Dottie, played by Buffy's Emma Caulfield, is likewise suspected to be any number of comic characters. Maybe she's Mephisto, a demon who had a connection to Wanda's twins. Or perhaps she's Clea, the Sorcerer Supreme from the Dark Dimension, as seen in Doctor Strange. Your mileage may vary on how compelling the "evidence" is for either fan theory, but Caulfield tells SYFY WIRE she's thrilled to see people wondering if there's something more to Westview's leading socialite.
"It's so much fun to see that. I have seen them. I think I've seen all of them. At least the major ones that I've clocked. That I'm the devil or..." Caulfield says, trailing off as she tries to remember the name of one of the characters fan theorists think she's secretly playing. "Mephisto! They're all super interesting and I just can't say anything about them. It's just super fun to have that much attention paid. It's shocking to me, actually."
Neither Caulfield nor Schaeffer, for obvious reasons, can explicitly confirm any theories fans might have. ("I wish I could talk, but I can't. I haven't been able to say anything for a year and a half," Caulfield says.) But, they're happy to see viewers engaging with the mysteries of the show.
"The theorizing is fantastic," Schaeffer says. "I love it, I love reading it, I love that it is indicative of a level of enthusiasm that I wish for every writer to experience in their audience. I feel incredibly lucky to have people pouring over something that I labored over and that my team labored over."
OK, great, the Reddit theorist might be thinking. But are any of these theories correct?
"There are a lot of theories out there that are picking up what we're putting down, and there are ones that are super off-base," Schaeffer says. "And I embrace them all."
New episodes of WandaVision premiere on Fridays on Disney+.
Check out a tease for tomorrow's game-changing episode below: