Appearing on the latest episode of Smith’s FatMan Beyond podcast with co-host Marc Bernardin, Shakman revealed how COVID-19 impacted the production of the show and said that two fan theories in particular were addressed until they were changed last-minute. He explained that not only was the show originally set to run for 10 episodes, but some deleted scenes confirmed or denied what fans had already suspected.
Spoilers for the WandaVision finale below.
As the show started airing, the team behind WandaVision was still wrapping up post-production on some of the episodes. “We got lucky in some ways,” Shakman said at the 1:07:00 mark of the interview about fan theories lining up with what they had already shot. “We didn’t in some ways, too, because some of those easter eggs are absolutely intentional.”
He said that the line about the “aerospace engineer,” which many believed to be a reference to Reed Richards a.k.a. the Fantastic Four’s Mr. Fantastic, was not intentional. The line was added when the team reworked the scene, which he said was “never an intention” to be an easter egg from their perspective.
“Things were constantly changing and getting rebroken. The story was changing, especially a lot of the real-world stuff and the finale,” Shakman added. “There was a lot of experimentation going on and sort of trying different things out. We also at one point had 10 episodes planned and we ended up collapsing a couple, you know just to make the rhythm feel a little bit better. But yeah, they constantly changed and then of course, once we wrapped in Atlanta the pandemic hit and we ended up having months off so then further changes during that we were doing post-production and then ideas would come up and little changes would happen as a result.”
Fans also theorized that big bad Agatha Harkness’ rabbit Señor Scratchy was actually a hint at an even bigger villain: Mephisto, who has been called both Nick and Jack Scratch in different stories. Others have also suggested the name was a reference to sorcerer Nicholas Scratch, who happens to be Harkness’ son in past comics storylines.
While Shakman was hesistant to confirm whether Scratchy was, in fact, Mephisto, he did explain the rabbit appeared as a demon-like entity in a deleted scene. The finale was set to have what Shakman described as a “Goonies set-piece” following Wanda’s twins, Monica, Darcy, and Ralph Bohner (fake Pietro Maximoff) as they attempt to steal the Darkhold from Agatha’s basement. Scratchy was scripted to turn into a demon, who would go on to terrorize the group.
The scene was shot, but the visual effects weren’t finished because the team thought it was too much of a “detour” from the rest of the episode.
Elsewhere during the chat, Shakman also reflected on the original release plans for the show. The team planned to drop the first three episodes all at once, but since the show wasn’t finished they would’ve needed to delay the finale to stick with the date they had already announced. As an aside, he added that the finale was only completed two weeks before it premiered on Disney+.
Watch the full interview with Shakman above.