WandaVision creator, Elizabeth Olsen on weekly fan theories/expectations

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

wandavision, creator, marvel


With WandaVision wrapping up its run last Friday, the enormous amount of fan theories that emerged on a weekly basis have also been put to bed. For some fans, the theories were just fun speculation but for others, the theories became their very own narrative and if the show didn't live up to those expectations, they were bound to be disappointed. Was Ultron returning? Is Mephisto behind it all? Is Reed Richards making an appearance? Will Magneto and Quicksilver usher mutants into the MCU? These were just some of the theories that continued to build until the series finale and now head writer Jac Schaeffer, star Elizabeth Olsen, and director Matt Shakman are addressing those fan theories and divulging if they were ever worried that they could lose the fans by not living up to them.

Schaeffer recently did an interview with "The Hollywood Reporter" and she discussed what it was like to see those fan theories build week after week. The writer admits to being a little apprehensive about the expectations that were being created by the fans but, at the end of the day, she had to only worry about the promises that the show was ACTUALLY making, and not about outside ideas.

"I didn't toss and turn, but [the number of fan theories] did affect me, I have to admit. I'm a people pleaser; I want people to be happy. But as far as the sum total of the series, I didn't want to break any promises, and I don't feel that we ever promised some big male bad. It's baked in that the ultimate antagonist of the show is grief, and that Agatha is the external antagonist. So as far as those theories, I got a little nervous, but even at this point, I don't want Mephisto or Magneto. As a viewer, that's not what I would want out of this series."

Director Matt Shakman also addressed a popular fan theory on the "Fatman Beyond" podcast that Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four would be making an appearance. This all started with a throwaway line from Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), when she mentioned knowing "an aerospace engineer who'd be up for this challenge", of building a fallout shelter designed to get into the "Hex" surrounding the town of Westview. The line was enough to get social media talking about the potential arrival of Mr. Fantastic but Shakman says that was never in the cards at all:

"Some of those Easter eggs are absolutely intentional. And then some things, like just trying to clarify what was Monica's plan with regards to the Hex [were not]. We did reshoot a little thing there, changed some dialogue, added the aerospace engineer which was never an intention on our side to set up the Fantastic Four (laughs)."

Shakman went on to say that the fan theories are "charming and wonderful" but he admits that it was hard watching the show's carefully constructed narrative be sidetracked by some of the fan theories that had no basis in reality at all:

"[Fan theories are] charming and wonderful. But we're building to this rover set piece, which I have worked my butt off on for well over a year creating this rover. And all of a sudden, everybody wants to know who's going to meet her there, and I know it's going to be this wonderful actress who's playing Major Goodner, and it's not going to be Reed Richards… I want people to be invested in what is the origin story of a different character that Monica Rambeau is becoming, and instead, we're being distracted by someone else. So yeah, the director-producer in me is like, 'Oh, don't run with that one!' Because I didn't want the focus to shift from what was important, which is the story of Monica traveling through that Hex."

Schaeffer also addressed the arrival of Evan Peter's Quicksilver from the X-Men universe rather than Aaron Taylor-Johnson's incarnation from the MCU's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Peter's surprise appearance on WandaVision sparked its own fan theories but none of them were realized because the series finale revealed that he was just an actor named Ralph Bohner living in Westview prior to the "Hex." She admits that casting Evan Peters was for the fans and that it added a meta aspect to the story that actually worked for the series:

"It was one of the few things in developing the show that my agenda — with regard to casting Evan — had to do with the fans. In my experience at Marvel, most of my motivation is about the work or working in concert with the producer, and with Kevin Feige. And then, working within that system and trying to check the boxes that need to be checked while still telling compelling, authentic stories with women usually centered. So that's usually my priority, but with the Evan casting, it was twofold. It seemed like the cherry on top of this very meta story. The only other thing that's more meta than that is I think Wanda Maximoff is the one who crashed the Disney+ server. (Laughs.) There's some sort of bleeding out from fiction to reality there because crashing Disney+ just seems like something she would do. But I didn't want [the Evan Peters casting] to be a gimmick. What we wanted for Wanda was that it would be a gut punch. She would see this person, know immediately that he's supposed to be her brother, but also know that something is off. But she would doubt herself so thoroughly that she would go along with it. And I felt that the only way the audience could go on that journey with her — and also feel the exact same gut punch and euphoric thrill — is if it was Evan. That's a meta piece that I feel served our story. So I was really looking forward to people losing their minds, but that is how I saw it integrating into the story."

One person that thought Peter's Quicksilver could be signaling the arrival of the X-Men was Elizabeth Olsen herself. In an interview for "Variety", MCU's Wanda Maximoff thought when Peters joined WandaVision it meant that the two worlds were merging, although, Olsen wasn't aware of the Multiverse aspects while filming and didn't really learn about it until stepping into the Doctor Strange sequel:

"When we heard that Evan was going to do it, my mind was blown. "This is the first time we're merging! This is crazy!" And then to use it in such a clever way as as Jac does was so satisfying. Working with Evan playing this version of Pietro [laughing] was just so fun and weird and funny and oh God, Jac I loved it so much. I'm so grateful for that. I didn't know about the multiverse when we were filming this. So, I wouldn't assume that that's what was happening. I thought it was just a clever way to have a Pietro. I didn't understand the larger plan of the multiverse until I started working on "Multiverse," or whatever our movie's called, the "Doctor Strange" sequel!"

For the most part, Elizabeth Olsen seemed to really unaware of a lot of the fan theories that were out there. The actress isn't on social media, that we know of, and that's where a lot of these theories manifest. She did have an idea that fans may have wanted more surprises in the cameos but she's really learning them as she was promoting the show:

"I knew that there are theories that had to do with people wanting more surprises in cameos. But I'm not really that aware of what these fan theories were, so I'm kind of learning about it as we go. Paul said something about this crazy cameo when he was really just talking about doing a scene with himself, and I know Paul thought that was a really funny joke, and I thought it was funny. But I was like, I think people are actually going to suspect that there is more to come."

Since Elizabeth Olsen next appears in Doctor Strange in Multiverse of Madness, fans thought that Doctor Strange could be making an appearance in the finale now that Wanda realizes her true self as Scarlet Witch. Nothing happened on the show that hinted at Wanda facing Doctor Strange in her next appearance but the post-credits scene does allude to the madness and its creator in the upcoming sequel. Olsen was asked about the scene but the actress admitted she hadn't watched the finale yet and wasn't sure what post-credits scene was used because more than one was shot. At the end of the day, she tried to not think about Doctor Strange 2 because it could impact her work on WandaVision:

"I didn't know my part in Doctor Strange until right before we got back to filming during the pandemic. We had two months left, and we'd filmed the majority of our show already. Really, I knew nothing until that moment when they pitched to me verbally. So, I tried, as much as I could, almost less so to have it affect WandaVision as have WandaVision affect it. I think that's really been where the connection is. It's almost like we're trying to make sure that everything is honoring what we did [on the show]."

I think what we can gather from a lot of this is that a lot of these things are filmed in a bubble. They have to be aware of fan expectations but they also have to focus on the narratives they're trying to create because if they get bogged down by what the fan input might be, the story can suffer. Schaeffer stated at the beginning that her main concern was staying true to promises she set out to make for the show. Everything else is just theory and speculation and that's something any property with a big fandom has to expect is coming down the road.

Were there any fan theories YOU thought would turn out to be true on WandaVision? Do YOU think any of them should've been realized?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, Variety

About the Author

3191 Articles Published