When Production Designer Mark Worthington joined the team for Marvel’s hit Disney+ series WandaVision, he knew he was getting involved in something special. The series, as viewers know, not only provided the usual MCU challenges, it also threw the history of the sitcom into the mix. Authenticity was key. Matching the aesthetic vibe of each sitcom era from the 50’s through to modern day was crucial to the success of the series.
When finding the right person for the task, bringing the versatile Worthington on board was a natural fit. His resume included everything from Ugly Betty to HBO’s critically-acclaimed Watchmen – plus he was an avid sitcom watcher back in the day.
When approached by WandaVision director, Matt Shakman he was instantly attracted to the series’ creativity and depth. He remembers, “It sounded amazing. And said, yes, there’s a Marvel component. But it’s this really interesting story about grief, PTSD, all folded into ‘what if a Marvel character has these character issues?’ So it was it just interestingly complex and nuanced. And I was like, ‘Wow, that sounds really interesting.’ And then, the period sitcoms and everything, that’s catnip to a production designer.”
The process of building a new spin on the Marvel universe may seem intimidating, but Worthington quickly realized he was in good company “Weirdly, I say Marvel is like, an indie film company that just happens to make $300 million blockbusters, because there’s an intimacy to it,” recalls Worthington. “That I think is that was unexpected to me. So but as far as the Marvel thing, you don’t have to worry, Kevin absolutely has uncovered he knows the fans. You know, he has his own way of interpreting, you know, the comics and stuff, which is obviously brilliant and very successful. So, so there was a comfort level there that you could, you could try things or suggest things and all of that was fair game.”
One of the biggest challenges was passing the sitcom litmus test. There could ne no short cuts or guesswork because audiences were passionate about the shows that inspired each episode. “Everybody knows those references and those characters. They’re literally like family to people, and they grow up with these people,” said Worthington. “I didn’t know how that was going to affect audience like. ‘Is that going to work?’ Well, obviously did it hit a chord? Again, like watching your family, I didn’t know how deeply embedded that was, in my own consciousness or subconscious, until I started working on it.”
Listen to the my entire fascinating conversation with Worthington below where we cover a great deal more that fans of television productions, the MCU and sitcoms will enjoy. Building WandaVision was no small task and required dedicated, passionate people, as is heard in his voice during our interview. We cover why they chose that modest home for two superpowers beings, his favorite scene in the series and one of the Easter eggs he was not allowed to discuss until now. Enjoy!