WandaVision Showrunner Jac Schaeffer Breaks Down Writers’ Approach to Critically Acclaimed Series

Since its release two months ago, WandaVision has impressed audiences with its tight and compelling storytelling. Mixing typical comic book action with homages to classic sitcoms, the series was praised for offering something for everybody. In a new interview with the New York Times, showrunner Jac Schaeffer talked about how she brought the world of Avengers Wanda Maximoff and Vision to life on Disney+.

Schaeffer started her interview by noting that Wanda has many mental wounds. As explored in various films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Maximoff has lost her parents, her twin brother, and her love interest, Vision, to incredible violence. Due to the extreme losses she has endured in her life, Wanda is typically portrayed as a very serious character in the MCU. In approaching the series, Schaeffer and her team of writers were left with the daunting prospect of determining how to unpack Wanda’s emotional upheavals while still making her interesting and relatable for audiences. In answering this question, Schaeffer and her staff determined that framing the show through sitcoms would be the best way to show Wanda’s more hopeful, family-oriented side. Schaeffer notes that the fantasy element of WandaVision worked perfectly with sitcoms, which are typically hopeful, aspirational series. Schaeffer was also inspired by some of her own favorite TV programs in developing WandaVision, including Lost and Russian Doll.

As Schaeffer and the rest of the writers moved through the series, they determined that the show should follow the stages of Wanda’s grief in finally coming to terms with the death of Vision and the rest of her loved ones. In approaching this idea, Schaeffer says that the writers contrasted how Wanda explored her grief through her relationships with Agatha Harkness and Monica Rambeau. While Agatha helps Wanda explore her grief in a caustic, self-serving manner, Monica is more empathetic, offering Wanda a way to accept her loss.

Schaeffer also talked about one of the most poignant moments in the series finale when the hardened Avenger finally comes to terms with her past. As Wanda lifts the Hex from the community of Westview, Vision remarks, “What is grief, if not love preserving?” The exchange has since been celebrated by fans as one of the most honest, thought-provoking moments of the season. Schaeffer feels that the line is the perfect distillation of WandaVision and adds that, like the series itself, it was the product of a group collaboration of many talented writers and performers.

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