Marvel’s Wanda has a future, but ‘WandaVision’ fate unclear

Entertainment

This image provided by Marvel Studios shows Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in a scene from “WandaVision.” (Marvel Studios via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When “WandaVision” wraps its initial run next month on the Disney+ streaming service, Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda will make her next appearance in the big-screen “Doctor Strange” sequel.

It’s storytelling that determines how and when characters from the Marvel Comics universe hopscotch between TV and movies, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said Wednesday.

“All of the crossover between series, between films, will always vary based on the story,” Feige said. “Sometimes (a series) will go into a season two, sometimes it’ll go into a feature and then back into a series.”

Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch, plays opposite Benedict Cumberbatch’s title character in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” planned for a 2022 release.

Feige wouldn’t say whether “WandaVision,” Marvel Studios’ first original series for Disney+, has a future after its March 5 season finale. The riff on generations of TV sitcoms — with the added superhero twist — brought Wanda and Paul Bettany’s character, Vision, to the fore from the “Avengers” movie franchise.

“I’ve been at Marvel for too long to say a definite no or definite yes to anything,” Feige replied when asked about the show’s future during a virtual panel discussion held by the Television Critics Association. But second seasons are being considered and planned for series, he said, without giving away details.

There’s a flurry of potential new Disney+ candidates, including “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” debuting March 19 with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their roles from “Avengers: Endgame.”

“Loki,” starring Tom Hiddleston revisiting his character following the events of “Endgame,” debuts June 11. After “Ms. Marvel” arrives on the streaming service (with the date yet to be announced), the character will move to the next “Captain Marvel” movie, Feige said.

He was asked if shifting Marvel stories and characters between film and TV might end up cutting into the potential audience.

“I always say when the lights go down and and a movie starts, it’s a clean slate — forget everything that’s come before and be able to enjoy something that’s its own self-contained story line,” Feige said. He acknowledged that as the studio makes more shows and films and introduces new characters, it “becomes harder and harder” to meet that goal.

“But it is something that all of our writers and filmmakers pay great attention to, to make sure that fans can follow” the latest chapter and that newcomers can enjoy it too, he said.

When the Walt Disney Co. acquired Marvel Entertainment for about $4 billion in 2009, prior deals left some of its properties with other studios. Asked if Marvel Studios might be able to regain them, Feige said he believes it could happen, but added that “rumors online about things reverting” to Marvel aren’t always true.

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