Read The Emmy-Nominated Scripts For The Disney+ Series – Deadline


After a crazy season of twists and turns, Disney+’s WandaVision netted 23 Emmy nominations including for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series and three nominations in the Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie category. Elizabeth Olsen stars as Wanda Maximoff, with Paul Bettany as Vision, in what served as first Marvel streaming series on Disney+. In a surreal, Twilight Zone-style trip through classic sitcoms, Wanda and Vision live in an idyllic town called Westview; both Olsen and Bettany received Emmy nominations in the lead acting categories for their performances

Here, the Emmy-nominated writers of the scripts — series creator Jac Schaeffer, Laura Donney, Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron — answers some questions about their work on the series finale as part of Deadline’s It Starts on the Page, a series showcasing scripts from this year’s Emmy-nominated programs and the writers who brought them to life.

How ‘WandaVision’s Elizabeth Olsen Brought Her MCU Role To The Small Screen: ‘It Was Like A Dream’

- Advertisement -

***

Marvel

“Filmed Before A Live Studio Audience”
Written by Jac Schaeffer

The pilot episode, titled “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience,” was written by the creator of the series, Schaeffer. It begins in black and white, with Wanda and Vision living in a ’50s-style home. They are trying to conceal their powers from nosy neighbors and Vision’s boss as they blend into a world that is very different from their previous appearance in the MCU.

- Advertisement -

What was the inspiration behind the script for this episode?

SCHAEFFER: Rather than telling the linear story of Wanda’s arrival in Westview, I believed that opening the series inside her sitcom world would be the most disorienting and intriguing point of entry for the series. My hope was to produce a sitcom episode that was charming enough to pass for the real thing so that viewers would be lulled into forgetting that they’re actually watching a Marvel show (until the rug is pulled out from under them when Mr. Hart begins choking and we shatter the multi-cam aesthetic). Technically this first episode is set in the 1950s — with Wanda in full Donna Reed mode — but the true inspiration was The Dick Van Dyke Show. Our entire series hinges on the appeal of Wanda and Vision as husband and wife, and there is arguably no TV couple as adorable, relatable and aspirational as Rob and Laura Petrie. I wanted that same sexy, fizzy, exasperated-but-still-madly-in-love screwball buoyancy for our show. Up until things get weird, of course. Then we went full-tilt on The Twilight Zone.

Schaeffer

What is your favorite line from the script?

- Advertisement -

SCHAEFFER: “The only way Ralph would remember our anniversary is if there was a beer named ‘June 2nd.’” This was an Agnes joke pitched by Gretchen Enders and I have always loved how layered it is. First, it’s a classic sitcom joke in its construction, rhythm and specificity. Also, it very economically identifies Agnes’ archetype as the sex-starved but forever rebuffed middle-aged neighbor lady (see also: Ethel on I Love Lucy, Mrs. Roper on Three’s Company, Mona on Who’s The Boss?). But what makes the line especially delicious is that Agnes is dropping a huge clue about her true identity. While remaining totally in character as “Agnes” per Wanda’s desires, Agatha Harkness namechecks the young man she’s currently holding hostage in the creepy house down the street. She doesn’t even bother using a pseudonym for him. The joke becomes quite macabre once you know the whole truth of the series.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

SCHAEFFER: The opening scene was the most difficult to write. I knew that after the Main Titles, Wanda would be in the kitchen doing something domestic, that Vision would be about to leave for work, and that they would have a cute back-and-forth that would be a coded exchange representing the truth of their circumstance. But… then what? We had spent months designing the puzzle of the show, plotting the character arcs and the various twists and turns, but it was only when I sat down to write the pilot that I realized I hadn’t sufficiently broken the sitcom storyline. The subsequent scenes were set (Vision at work, Agnes pops by the house, then a high-stakes dinner party) but I was missing the setup for what’s known in sitcom writing as “The Trouble,” or the primary conflict of the episode. It was impossible to move forward without those details. I called two writers in to help, Laura Donney and Mackenzie Dohr, as well as writers assistant Clay Lapari. They pitched specifics for a classic misunderstanding, including the heart on the calendar and a confused phone call between Wanda and Vision. Thanks to their brainstorming I got a handle on each character’s POV and the full episode took shape.

How many rewrites did the script go through?

SCHAEFFER: I think this one went through about eight revisions, the least of any episode. It’s the most wholly sitcom of the series and was consequently low on mythology which, in the superhero space, is typically the material that requires constant retooling. We filmed this episode in front of a live audience so most of the revising happened during rehearsal and involved punching up jokes and enhancing physical comedy bits. Once it was in the can, it had a lid on it. This episode always felt like a very exciting and very bizarre one-act play.

Click to read the script:

***

Marvel

“All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”
Written by Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron

Now in the early-2000s era of sitcoms, this episode begins with Wanda and her family preparing to spend their first Halloween together but Vision decides to patrol the streets instead, as part of the neighborhood watch. As the mysterious man claiming to be Wanda’s dead brother, Pietro (Evan Peters), takes the boys trick-or-treating, Vision discovers some horrible truths about the nature of Westview.

Hayward

What was the inspiration behind the script for this episode?

HAYWARD: The previous episode is in the vein of Full House, so the plan was to segue firmly into the mid-’90s with a Malcolm in the Middle-type show. We stuffed our eyeballs with Malcolm episodes to internalize the anarchic-but-comforting tone and type of jokes in that show’s sweet spot.

CAMERON: And story-wise, it’s one of the first times we pivot away from sitcomland, escalating from the smaller “glitches,” as we’d call them, to a Twilight Zone-level of horror. Safe to say I can’t get enough of that tone, personally, the dark side of Pleasantville. It was so, so much fun to tilt the mundane into Marvel chaos when Wanda finally loses control of her creation. And then fights like hell to reclaim it.

HAYWARD: It was a turning point for a few of our characters. For Wanda, as Peter explained. Also we needed Vision to finally get fed up enough with Wanda’s evasiveness to take action, and get answers for himself. And outside of the hex we wanted to show Monica being fed up with the bureaucracy and with Hayward’s condescension, and fully taking matters into her own hands. Everyone has had enough, dammit!

What is your favorite line from the script?

CAMERON: My favorite line definitely came from Chuck, who nailed Uncle Pietro’s ‘bro uncle’ voice right out of the gate. It’s Pietro’s response to Wanda realizing Vision’s in trouble at the edge of town. “Don’t sweat it, sis. It’s not like your dead husband can die twice.” It’s so throwaway and callous and sneaky as far as hitting the backstory. And Evan Peters’ delivery couldn’t have been better.

Cameron

HAYWARD: Aw, thanks Peter. Is it wrong to say that’s my favorite line too? Oh well, it is.

CAMERON: I also love the old woman handing out a pickled herring in the Sokovian Halloween flashback. “…To share.” That came from Mackenzie Dohr, one of the fastest jokeslingers in the West.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

HAYWARD: Vision’s attempt to step through the hex was tricky. There was a lot of discussion of how it would affect him, and we had to walk the line between high stakes and gruesome. Peter gets the gold star for that one. This man writes some of the most beautiful prose I’ve read. Once when I handed in a draft, Jac asked me to “Peter Cameron it up a little” in the action lines — meaning really make them sing in a visceral, evocative way.

CAMERON: Yeah I’m clearly a genius, tell your friends! For my money, the trickiest to find balance in was the scene where Vision comes across Agnes stopped in her car near the hex boundary. SPOILER: Agnes/Agatha is pretending, and we really wanted the audience to be able to sense how much fun she’s having on second watch. She’s swinging for the fences in that moment, getting her kicks with melodramatic lines like “all is lost,” stuff you’d only dare to give a performer like Kathryn Hahn. And then of course Paul Bettany is so earnest in return, pitch-perfect concern. I remember sweating bullets wondering how that scene came out, then grinning til my cheeks hurt watching two bulletproof actors play the heck out of it.

How many rewrites did the script go through? 

CAMERON: Not many, to be honest! Pretty surreal really when you think about 90% of the projects you work on…

HAYWARD: By the time we went to pages, the beats and arcs were pretty thoroughly mapped.

CAMERON: Feels like this’d be the perfect chance to celebrate Jac Shaeffer and the flawless way she ran the writers room.

HAYWARD: Seconded. Between Jac and our amazing producer, Mary Livanos, we were always rowing in the right direction.

CAMERON: I keep saying this, but between the creative process and the incredible human beings in our writers room, the whole experience felt like summer camp. It’s certainly the most I’ve laughed since good ol’ Camp Lanakila in Fairlee, Vermont!

HAYWARD: There’s literally nothing else to say!

Click to read the script:

***

Marvel

“Previously On”
Written by Laura Donney

The penultimate episode of WandaVision begins with a flashback to 1693 Salem with a coven of witches attempting to execute Agnes ( Hahn), now revealed to be a witch named Agatha Harkness. As the scene flashes forward to the present, the veil of the sitcom has been broken as Agatha forces Wanda to relive the past events that gave her magic and caused her to create the idyllic version of Westview.

Laura Donney
Donney

What was the inspiration behind the script for this episode?

DONNEY: Therapy!! But actually. From the very beginning, Jac – to her immense credit – was very clear that this was a grief journey for Wanda; that this show was going to give Wanda something she hadn’t yet had in the MCU: the space to process all her loss. Like, actually process. Or at least start the process of processing. And we always knew that meant one episode dedicated to doing that work. Part of healing from trauma is sometimes having to go places in your soul and heart and mind that are hard and painful and that you’d rather not look at. We had Wanda literally visit these places. And for me, it was just as important for Wanda to look at the hurt, to name and confront it, as it was for Agatha to be there with her: bearing witness. I feel like we talked about that a lot in the room. How powerful and important it was for Agatha to be in those flashbacks with Wanda. It’s not just Wanda returning to these pivotal moments for herself, which of course she needed to do, it’s also Wanda sharing her experience. It’s testifying, in a way: being heard, being seen, being understood. Sure, she’s doing it with this other witch who has motivations that are NOT what we’d look for in an actual therapist, and there is a massive lack of sensitivity from Agatha, obviously. But ultimately, Agatha is acting as a crucial partner for someone processing trauma. Agatha’s the one going, “How did we get here? Show me. I’m listening. I’ll go there with you.” So yeah. Therapy.

What is your favorite line from the script?

DONNEY: This is hard! Can I do two? And one isn’t even spoken aloud but a line’s a line, right? I feel especially affectionate towards what Vision wrote on the deed to his and Wanda’s would-be home. “To grow old in. Love, V.” We had to distill a lot from just a little scribble: we needed to understand what this document was, and I wanted to tap into what would be the sweetest and most heartbreaking sentiment for Wanda. When someone experiences so much untimely loss, I think you start to see aging as a privilege. You get how precious it is. I think for Wanda it’s one of the things she’s most desperate for, and afraid she may not get – a long future; time. And I like the idea that Vision knew how much that specifically would mean to her, like that’s maybe her love language. And he intended to give that to her. It’s also kind of cheeky because I don’t know that Vision grows old the same way a human person does, so that’s cute. OK and also when Agatha says, “… this is chaos magic, Wanda. And that makes you the Scarlet Witch.” I mean. Come on. It’s what we’ve been waiting for. It’s just so satisfying and huge. For Marvel fans who know, it’s not like it was new information per se, but I was very honored to be the writer to type it out. I think it’s the first time “Scarlet Witch” is said in the MCU so, yeah – it’s a big deal line!

What was the most difficult scene to write?

DONNEY: None, this was incredibly easy for me. Just kidding! Very kidding. I think the one that was most regularly intimidating is the scene at the beginning in Agatha’s basement, before we start the rewind. Agatha has to explain who she is, what she knows, what she doesn’t know, what she wants, and what we’re about to do in this episode. And first of all, some of those things were the most constantly changing bits of my script: what we were revealing to audience about the Hex, what Agatha was sharing with Wanda, Agatha’s story – that stuff changed a lot. So there was a good amount of reinventing with this scene, which is a cool opportunity, and also: sometimes difficult. Plus we have all this new magic vocabulary and we’re in a magic world we haven’t totally been in in the Hex yet. So it’s a lot of information and establishing and introducing. For a writer, that can be scary! You want to be clear for the sake of story – providing answers and exposition, but careful not to get stuck in a bunch of tedious monologue-ing. Agatha being the character responsible for this obviously helped tremendously, because she’s so fun, and then Kathryn being responsible for Agatha sealed the deal. From the beginning I had Agatha do an amount of “showing” in addition to “telling.” Like, we could see this witch do magic to buoy all this dense information. I think it was ultimately Jac who landed on the little cicada as an all-purpose prop, which I found very effective!

How many rewrites did the script go through?

DONNEY: I think it’s fair to say something like “several.” But those weren’t all full rewrites. Some scenes – the Sokovia flashback, the S.W.O.R.D flashback, the Avenger’s Compound flashback, and the Hex creation flashback – only went through a few rewrites. They were always very much what they were going to be, and it was just about getting to the best version with the best details. But other stuff, like Agatha’s Witch trial – basically Agatha’s origin story stuff we had many many rewrites of. And then where exactly we are after the rewind, how exactly we were setting up the finale – that had several rewrites. Basically lots of rewrites for the top and bottom, but all the stuff in the middle, a few!

Click to read the script:




Source Link

- Advertisement -

Share

Latest Updates

‘The Witcher’ Renewed For Season 3 By Netflix, Expands With Anime Film, Family Series – Deadline

Netflix has handed an early renewal to the widely popular series The Witcher, greenlighting Season 3 months before Season 2 drops in December. The...

Netflix Sets Season 5 Premiere Date With Teaser Art – Deadline

Maury the Hormone Monster takes center stage in the latest teaser art for Big Mouth‘s upcoming Season 5. Netflix unveiled the latest look at...

New York Schools Vaccine Mandate Granted Temporary Injunction By Federal Court – Deadline

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a vaccine mandate set to go into effect on Monday in the New York City school...

Trending News

‘The Witcher’ Renewed For Season 3 By Netflix, Expands With Anime Film, Family Series – Deadline

Netflix has handed an early renewal to the widely popular series The Witcher, greenlighting Season 3 months before Season 2 drops in December. The...

Netflix Sets Season 5 Premiere Date With Teaser Art – Deadline

Maury the Hormone Monster takes center stage in the latest teaser art for Big Mouth‘s upcoming Season 5. Netflix unveiled the latest look at...

New York Schools Vaccine Mandate Granted Temporary Injunction By Federal Court – Deadline

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked a vaccine mandate set to go into effect on Monday in the New York City school...

COVID-19 Vaccinated Pregnant Women Pass Protection To Newborns: Study

<!-- -->The study found no increased risks during pregnancy, birth complications. (Representational)Washington: According to a new study, women who receive the mRNA COVID-19...

Netflix Announces Premiere Month For Season 5 – Deadline

Fresh off its formidable sweep at the 73rd annual Emmy Awards, Netflix’s The Crown will come back for even more royal drama next...

Netflix Sets Season 2 Premiere Date For Comedy – Deadline

Emily in Paris will make its retour au Netflix next year. During Saturday’s Tudu event, Netflix revealed that the Emmy-nominated comedy is set to return...