This Friday is set to be a monumental date for Disney and Marvel Studios as the relatively new and popular streaming service Disney+ will act as the catalyst for the next phase of the ever-so-popular Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
It’s been over a year and a half since we’ve seen anything from the MCU as the epic Phase 3 finale came and went with 2019’s Avengers: Endgame and Marvel/Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Far From Home. With the pandemic throwing a wrench into the rollout of Phase 4, the only other Marvel-affiliated releases to come out of 2020 were the unfavourable The New Mutants (the very last of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men films) and Spider-Man Miles Morales (the spectacular new Marvel/Sony videogame for the unattainable PlayStation 5).
When the pandemic worsened in 2020, it forced movie theatres to completely close down, leaving big-budget productions like Disney/Marvel’s Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson with no other option but to delay its May 2020 release date. It’s done so several times since, and while other films like Mulan and Wonder Woman 1984 tried to finesse their theatrical and PVOD releases to still earn a profit, the world still awaits Natasha Romanoff’s first solo movie (which was in fact the originally scheduled film to debut Phase 4 of the MCU and is now expected to open in May of this year, should COVID allow it).
Back in 2019, Disney announced that several MCU television series would be released exclusively on Disney+ as interwoven stories within the MCU: Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, and WandaVision were all set to debut with more than half finalizing release dates in 2020 and 2021. That is until the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
After moving some things around, WandaVision is now ushering in Phase 4 of the MCU, and it promises to expand on the past twelve years of world-building, evolving even further to include both movies and television shows as interwoven outlets of one shared and limitless universe. While Black Widow tends to its sticky web of delays, WandaVision is ready to debut on the small screen, and early critics’ reviews are raving!
Starring Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Romanoff aka Scarlett Witch and Paul Bettany as Vision aka Victor Shade, WandaVision is about a seemingly perfect white-picket-fence-couple living idealized suburban lives, but they soon begin to suspect that everything is not quite as it seems…
Very little else is known about the plot of WandaVision, but it’s said the show will directly lead into Loki and the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, The Multiverse of Madness. The president of Marvel Studios himself, mega-producer Kevin Feige, announced Sunday during a press interview for WandaVision that the new show’s premiere will include not one but two half-hour sitcom-style episodes.
“The idea always was, yes, to do something that could not be done as a feature that plays with the format and plays with the medium,” Kevin Fergie says of WandaVision. “There were a lot of meetings before everyone understood what we were trying to go for…We’re able to turn a wacky idea into a wackier show…It worked out perfectly that this is the debut on Disney+ for the MCU.”
Buckle up! The MCU is back!
WandaVision premieres this Friday, January 15, 2021, exclusively on Disney+.