Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

WandaVision head writer justifies Evan Peters casting and says Disney spoiled one of their twists

Evan Peters on WandaVision
Evan Peters on WandaVision
Photo: Disney Plus

Disney Plus’ WandaVision is over, with the cottage industry of WandaVision theories drying up along with it, but a whole new sub-genre of WandaVision discussions has risen up to fill the hex-shaped hole in our hearts: the “please explain WandaVision to us” interview format. Earlier this week, series creator Matt Shakman sat down with Kevin Smith to talk about what was going on with Agatha Harkness’ bunny, revealing that there was a deleted scene where it turned into a demon, and now head writer Jac Schaeffer has given some reveals of her own to The Hollywood Reporter—including an explanation for why Evan Peters was cast as the fake version of Pietro and how Disney’s PR machine inadvertently spoiled what the writers thought was going to be a really cool twist.

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As for Peters, who played a different incarnation of Wanda’s brother Pietro in Fox’s X-Men movies, Schaeffer says she didn’t want his appearance to be “a gimmick,” but rather a meta twist on the fact that Wanda knows he’s “supposed to be her brother” but clearly isn’t.” Schaeffer says she thought a good way to let the audience share that “something is wrong here” feeling was by casting Peters, because they would immediately recognize that he’s not the right version of Pietro (who was played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the MCU’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron). It is a reasonable explanation, certainly, but one could argue that the exact same result could’ve been achieved by casting any actor other than Taylor-Johnson, and then nobody would’ve jumped to conclusions about the X-Men being integrated into the MCU.

On a similar note, it sounds like Schaeffer didn’t really expect Marvel fans to run with the theories as much as they did, saying she “got a little nervous” when ideas about Mephisto or Magneto started to gain traction online. She says she “didn’t want to break any promises” with the show, but at the same time they never really did suggest that there would be “some big male bad” running things behind the scenes. Wanda’s grief was always supposed to be the “ultimate antagonist,” so it sounds like there was never a point where some larger threat from the comics beyond Agatha Harkness was going to be involved.

Another interesting detail from the interview is that Schaeffer says they hadn’t originally intended to announce that Teyonah Parris was playing Monica Rambeau (last seen as a little kid in Captain Marvel) ahead of time. That means the reveal that she wasn’t just a neighbor named Geraldine would’ve been a huge shock, but Disney and Marvel Studios ended up casually spoiling that twist themselves at Comic-Con years ago while Schaeffer and the other writers were still putting together the story they wanted to tell.

Rather than being bitter about it, though, Schaeffer appreciates that the twist simply landed differently than intended. Instead of thinking she was nobody special and then discovering the truth, fans knew she was someone special ahead of time but then got a chance to experience the mystery of why the show—and the show-within-a-show—was pretending otherwise. Now, does anyone else have questions about WandaVision that someone on the creative team can address? Maybe “why was the special space-truck that Monica wanted to drive into the Hex such a piece of crap?”