After a year and a half with no new offerings from the MCU, there was no sweeter sound than Marvel Studios fanfare before WandaVisionpremiere episode. Until we get to hear the main theme of the show, that is. That’s right: Marvel is doing music songs now.
At least for WandaVision, which sees Elizabeth Olsen’s witch Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany’s robohuman vision living a perfect married life, straight out of a sitcom. Literally. Each episode is set in a different decade through the classic sitcom of that time, with its own original comedy theme, courtesy of Oscar-winning duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (the Frozen films).
Before episode 3: a wonderful new chapter inspired by Brady’s Bunch With opening credits straight from the ’70s, the Lopezes broke the process of making jingles for the MCU. Here’s his full conversation with ET’s Ash Crossan.
ET: These earworms! I’ve been sitting singing “Wanda-Vision, Wa-WandaVision,“And if you go to Twitter, everyone says,” This topic is stuck in my head! “
Robert lopez: It worked!
Kristen Anderson-Lopez: Bobby was the one who really said, “If we’re going to do all these theme songs over the decades, we need something to connect them.” And so he created that motif: the “Wan-da Vis-ion!“- and you can find it in each one. So that’s the game Where’s Wally?
This is very funny. When you listen to Marvel, you don’t normally think about the theme music, unless you’re thinking about the animated shows of its day. How did this come about?
Lopez: We love Marvel. We see it with our children. As they got older, we kept thinking, “If we could get a job with Marvel, they’d think we’re cool.” But my friend Matt [Shakman] He’s the director and he brought us in a year and a half ago.
Anderson-Lopez: Fun fact, Bobby worked with Matt at Yale. They made a production of The Tempest and he wrote the songs and Matt directed and it took place at the Yale pool.
Lopez: And the echo in there was terrible. But yeah, they came up with this crazy idea and it seemed like something no one had seen before and something that would be so refreshing to work on, a total change of pace from the animated Disney stuff we were doing. The genre of princesses we’ve been working on. So, it was an automatic yes, and then writing the songs was much easier than expected. We were on fire. It was fun.
Anderson-Lopez: The metaphor that I like to say is with Frozen and Frozen 2We are the co-architects of the building, so we have to be there for years working on what materials you are using and the songs have to support the whole building. With WandaVisionSomeone else built the building and we just decorated the lobby. And it is much easier to decorate the lobby than to do the entire building.
How was your process of writing different themes for each episode? Are you watching all the television issues of that time for inspiration?
Anderson-Lopez: Well, the process was being born in the ’70s and watching television. I grew up in the New York area and if you were sick, you had to stay home and watch sitcoms from every decade on TV, like 9 in the morning. I love lucy and My three children and The Dick Van Dyke Show And then at 2 p.m. I was already in the 70’s with, like, Gilligan’s island and The Partridge family and Brady’s Bunch And by 5 p.m., you were already into the 80s, so all those hours watching TV and loving music, even the jingles that were played in commercials, how downloading all of that really contributed to getting this job and writing the themes of those hours that only live in my body.
You mentioned that it was surprisingly easy for you to write the song, but was there a time when you felt it was the hardest to break?
Anderson-Lopez: Without giving too much away, there was a decade when we were both in college: Bobby was busy writing songs that happened at the Yale pools, and I was busy coming out of the drawer saying lines from Beckett and Pinter, that was difficult, because we had to return. Instead of being something we knew from the past, we had to investigate: “What were people looking at in the late nineties?”
I feel like a lot of people have the topic of episode 2 stuck in their heads right now, but we have a few more to go. Which one got stuck in your head the most?
Anderson-Lopez: The ’80s. The 80’s is probably the closest to our life right now, and that’s all I can say about it.
Lopez: It’s sad to be doing this before it comes out and not being able to talk about it!
When the show was proposed to you, what did you imagine it would be compared to what it ended up being? Did Matt give you the full rundown?
Lopez: It’s such a lofty concept, so he introduced us to the concept and we were absolutely wowed, and then we got to read some initial drafts of the script and it just brought it to life in such a crazy way. We keep thinking, “Are they really going to do this ?! This is so experimental!” We got to see works of art. We all watched a ton of sitcoms, we just took a deep dive into YouTube and watched a lot of opening segments and absorbed it for when we could write. But we never wanted to write a parody. We wanted to write as if we were at that time writing a song to encapsulate a show from that time.
Anderson-Lopez: The other fun thing we did as a family is that we went back and watched all the movies that Wanda and Vision were together in just to make sure we knew their narrative, which brings me to the fact that Marvel, they are the best storytellers. there right now. Their narratives are so tight and complex and they use ways to surprise us and now this, like a great high-concept swing. They passed their doctorate in storytelling and are now on their postdoc.
I’m so ready for whatever this next chapter is, because you know it’s going to get really weird and I’m very here for it.
Lopez: It gets better and better.
Okay. Will the soundtrack be released, do you know?
Anderson-Lopez: I only heard on Twitter that the following week they released the song and score from the previous week. And by the way, Christophe Beck’s musical work on this, we’ve worked together for so long, they also went to Yale together, but their work is so good it’s worth listening to alone.
What I’m learning from this interview is that I should have gone to Yale.
Anderson-Lopez: [Laughs] I should have done it too.
Lopez: It’s a good idea if you get the chance!
Robert, I wanted to ask you, is there a recording of Book of Mormon with the original cast you know and there have been talks to release it after the reception for Hamilton And these other Broadway productions that have aired during the quarantine?
Lopez: Man, I wish. I know there is one that they made, and it was just a camera in the back of the theater. It was very sad. So, I don’t think they can release that, and it wouldn’t be fun to watch. But I know there is talk of how we will get back to Broadway, maybe doing it at some point so that the streaming version is available. I would love that.
New episodes of WandaVision air Fridays on Disney +.