Why The Makers Reduced WandaVision Episodes?
WandaVision heavily focused on Wanda’s powers of reality-warping. The series premiered first in January 2021. Since then, the fans have had all sorts of theories. This actually led to a disappointing finale. But in practicality, WandaVision established Marvel’s Phase 4. Wanda was officially introduced as the Scarlet Witch. With this, the show opened the doors for two new potential villains after Thanos. Namely, Chthon and Nightmare.
WandaVision, which first premiered in January, told the story of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), after the events of Avenger: Endgame. Over the course of its 9 episodes, WandaVision gradually unveiled its mysteries, revealing that in her grief, Wanda created a brand new Vision who could only exist within the rewritten reality she had sent over their town.
The series had other surprises up its sleeve as well, from the reveal of Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn) to Wanda’s transformation into the Scarlet Witch. WandaVision made eight weeks (as two episodes dropped on one day) pass by in a flash. Shakman just appeared on Kevin Smith’s FatMan Beyond show to discuss the WandaVision finale and pulled back the curtain on how the series evolved throughout the production process.
According to Shakman, WandaVision was constantly changing. At one point, the show had 10 episodes planned out. However, that later changed for pacing purposes. Shakman said,
“Well, yeah, things were constantly changing and getting rebroken. The story was changing, especially a lot of the real-world stuff and the finale. There was a lot of experimentation going on and sort of trying different things out. We also at one point had 10 episodes planned and we ended up collapsing a couple, you know just to make the rhythm feel a little bit better. But yeah, they constantly changed, and then of course, once we wrapped in Atlanta the pandemic hit and we ended up having months off so then further changes during that we were doing post-production and then ideas would come up and little changes would happen as a result.”
In a Facebook post, STW Talent Agency noted one of their clients is slated to appear in several episodes of the series, including a previously unannounced tenth episode. A now-deleted photo from the post, shared by The Direct, states “Selena appears in Episode 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10” of the series, about Selena Anduze, who plays S.W.O.R.D.’s, Agent Rodriguez. The agency’s updated post, however, made no mention of any additional episodes.
While the post could have simply been a mistake on the part of STW Talent Agency, a potential tenth episode remained in the possibility. Marvel Studios could have opted to extend the series by one additional episode or could have planned a tenth episode all along with a surprise bonus. The reality-altering nature of the show could make for potential changes to the MCU that might require a sort of epilog to explain any changes going forward.
Some might argue WandaVision did just fine with nine episodes, but it definitely would’ve been interesting with a tenth installment. Perhaps more time could have been devoted to Agatha’s story (which some felt was a bit rushed), or characters like Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) could have received a bit more screen time.
An extra episode certainly sounds appealing, but to keep the momentum going, WandaVision needed to downsize. In the end, that might’ve been the smarter decision. Brief rumors were suggesting a secret tenth episode to WandaVision. Shakman debunked that, and now, having watched episode 9, it’s safe to say it really did wrap up the story that was being told, so there’s no need for another one. Of course, the WandaVision finale left some threads dangling for future MCU projects, but in the case of this tale about Wanda and Vision, the book has been shut.