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‘WandaVision’ hits Disney+ on Friday: Watch these MCU movies first

Published Jan 13th, 2021 11:46PM EST
WandaVision Episode 1
Image: Marvel Studios

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  • WandaVision launches on January 15th, kicking off Phase 4 of the MCU with two episodes that will be streaming on Disney+ this Friday.
  • Marvel released its first Legends shorts on Disney+ which recap the stories of Wanda and Vision in anticipation of the WandaVision premiere.
  • It so happens that Wanda and Vision appeared in some of the best Avengers movies so far, and they’re absolutely must-watch movies to fully understand the new WandaVision TV show.

The novel coronavirus pandemic forced Marvel and Disney to reshuffle their MCU Phase 4 launch plans. Facing theater closures, Marvel postponed its movies twice, delaying Black Widow to May 2021, a year later than initially expected. Lockdowns also halted work on several productions, including Disney+ shows that were set to launch in the second half of 2020.

This turned WandaVision into the unexpected Phase 4 opener. The TV show launches on January 15th, with Disney+ streaming the first two episodes of the series on Friday. The other seven installments will be released every Friday after that. Whether you’re a Marvel fan who has seen every MCU film so far, or whether you’re just discovering the magic of the MCU, you should consider watching a few key Infinity Saga titles before jumping into WandaVision.

Black Widow would have been a great way to open Phase 4. The original Avenger is dead, and the film that Marvel needed well over a decade to make will bring fans some closure after Black Widow’s heroic death in Endgame. The film is also expected to establish some ties with the present-day MCU.

After a year of Phase 4 rumors, I have to say that having WandaVision kick off Phase 4 is an even more interesting prospect than Black Widow. WandaVision is easily the most exciting Marvel TV show for Disney+ considering what we’ve heard about the plot and the way it will connect to upcoming MCU movies.

Rumors say that the events of WandaVision will lead directly into Spider-Man 3 and then Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The TV series is the first of a three-part mini-story inside the main storyline that will establish this MCU phase’s key element: The multiverse. Not to mention that, rather than revel in the past with Natasha and her pre-Avengers family, the action in WandaVision takes place after Endgame.

Marvel Studios Legends
Screenshot from the Marvel Studios: Legends episode dedicated to Wanda showing the recommended MCU films featuring the character. Image source: Marvel Studios

We’ll have to wait until early March to see the entire story of WandaVision unfold, as the series is being released over seven weeks. This will give viewers plenty of time to go back and watch all of Wanda and Vision’s arcs, which should come in handy for making the most of the WandaVision story. And it just so happens that Wanda and Vision appear in some of the best MCU adventures so far — which is one more reason to be excited about WandaVision.

Wanda (Elisabeth Olsen) first appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which happens to be the origin story for Vision. However, Paul Bettany voiced Tony Stark’s Jarvis AI in several films before playing Vision.

The Wanda-Vision love story started in Captain America: Civil War, where the two also found themselves on opposing sides of the dispute. Avengers: Infinity War continued that love story, which ended in the worst possible way for the two superheroes. Avengers: Endgame ended the Infinity Saga, but it wasn’t a happy ending for everyone. Many had to suffer terribly for the Avengers to win. Wanda was among those heroes counting their losses at the end. These four movies offer a great recap of the events that brought us to Phase 4 and are some of the best MCU films to revisit. What’s great about them is that they work as a great intro to WandaVision.

Disney released the first Marvel Studios: Legends episodes a few days ago focusing on the main characters in WandaVision: Wanda and Vision. Each episode includes clips from the movies where the characters appear and end with the list of relevant films to the character and their next adventure. In addition to the four films mentioned above, Disney also included Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier for the Wanda episode (screenshot above). The same four iconic films appear at the end of the Legends episode about Vision, with Marvel adding Iron Man and The Avengers as well.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.