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The unique two-week training the stars received for WandaVision

WandaVision is just around the corner. What's more, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's arguably weirdest project gets to launch the entire Disney+ arm of the operation. Though this honor was originally reserved for The Falcon and the Winter Soldierthe challenges of the year 2020 forced Marvel Studios into a huge shooting and publishing schedule reshuffle. Now, the mysterious show featuring the massively powerful Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and the inexplicably still alive Vision (Paul Bettany) living life in a weird, sitcom-perfect neighborhood prepares to lead the way.

What's really great about WandaVision is that the world hasn't been so confused about a MCU project since the "Talking trees and raccoons?" period when Guardians of the Galaxy was first announced. Though fans do have some wild theories, the show's premise and inevitable plot twists are still shrouded in utter secrecy. Really, all we know is that the trailer makes WandaVision seem like the crux of the show is an extremely intense, uneasy take on classic situational comedies — at least, on the surface. Well, we do know one other thing. It turns out that to prepare for whatever's in store, the WandaVision stars received a very unique two-week training for the miniseries. 

The WandaVision actors had to take a two-week sitcom boot camp

According to The New York Times, the WandaVision stars had to go through "two weeks of sitcom boot camp" in preparation for their roles. Per Entertainment Weekly, director Matt Shakman and writer Jac Schaeffer went equally deep, to the point of sitting down with the elderly star of the legendary The Dick Van Dyke Show to pick his brain over lunch. They jokingly referred to their assorted studies of the format as "sitcom school," but to be fair, Van Dyke's vast knowledge alone would probably make it more of a sitcom college

It may be strange to think that some of the people involved with the show needed sitcom training in the first place. Apart from perhaps Schaeffer (who has spent the majority of her career working on major Marvel/Disney projects) and Bettany (who found the experience of shooting a sitcom wonderful and eye-opening), the key people in the project were practically — and sometimes literally — raised on sitcom sets. Before Shakman was directing episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, he was a child actor with credits from shows like Just The Ten of Us and Diff'rent Strokes. Olsen's sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley were on Full House. Kathryn Hahn (Parks and Recreation), Randall Park (Fresh off the Boat), and Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls) all have ample sitcom experience as well. 

However, the goal was to go old-school, Partridge Family-style. As such, everyone had their training, and shot scenes in front of a live studio audience, using old equipment and period clothing. You'll see the end result — and the extreme weirdness it no doubt hides — when the first two episodes of WandaVision premiere on Disney+ on January 15.