'WandaVision' Director Matt Shakman Consulted Dick Van Dyke, Who Is Adorably Clueless About The MCU

Marvel debuted the first two episodes of their new Disney+ series WandaVision this past weekend. The series finds Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) living a literal sitcom marriage in the style of classic TV shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show and Bewitched. Director Matt Shakman perfectly captured the style of those vintage programs, right down to the practical visual effects and the black and white cinematography, and he got some guidance from the perfect resource.

Matt Shakman previously mentioned that he met with Dick Van Dyke to get a better vibe of the making of classic television so many decades ago. Now he's opened up a little bit more about the meeting, which took place at Club 33, the exclusive private club located within Disneyland above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Not only is it nice to hear that Dick Van Dyke was kind and helpful, but he seems to know little to nothing about the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Entertainment Tonight talked to Matt Shakman about his meeting with Dick Van Dyke, and he couldn't help but gush about the rare experience. Shakman said:

"Oh, easily one of the best afternoons of my life. I mean, he is, I'm sure, an inspiration for so many people, but for me in particular, he had a huge impact on my life, and I think the same for Kevin Feige. So, the chance to sit down with him and pick his brain and kiss the ring, really, but also just try to soak up the secret sauce that has made so much of what he's done but, in particular, The Dick Van Show be this timeless classic. That was an utter joy. And we did it at Disneyland, above Pirates of the Caribbean in this place called Club 33. It really just felt like the perfect place to meet with Dick Van Dyke, this great Disney legend."

Previously, Shakman revealed one of the valuable bits of perspective he got from Dick Van Dyke involving the physical comedy gags, a staple of the classic series. Back in November, while talking about shooting with a live studio audience, Shakman recalled:

"[The Dick Van Dyke Show] can be very broad with silly physical-comedy gags, and yet it never feels false, and I wondered how they did that.His answer was really simple: He basically said that if it couldn't happen in real life, it couldn't happen on the show."

WandaVision gave the perfect tribute to The Dick Van Dyke Show in the opening of the premiere episode. When Vision brings Wanda into their new house, instead of tripping over the living room footstool, a pratfall straight from the old series, he uses his phasing ability to walk straight through it instead.

Adorably enough, Vision's superpowers weren't something that Dick Van Dyke had a grasp on. In fact, it sounds like the classic TV icon wasn't even all that familiar with Avengers: Endgame, the biggest movie of all time. Shakman admitted that they had to explain to him the basic concept of the series, which included a brief crash course in who Wanda and Vision were in the grand scheme of things. The director explained:

"We did have to give him the explanation, and he didn't seem to be too fluent with the MCU. It was great. He did say at one point during our lunch, 'Oh, I hear you guys have had some great success. That's wonderful. Congratulations. What did you just put out?' And Kevin [Feige], who's great, obviously Kevin is this mastermind of this incredible creative endeavor that's had so much success, he said, 'Well, yes, well, we just put out Avengers: Endgame.' And [Dick] was like, 'Oh, Avengers: Endgame? Oh, great. Fantastic.' He said, 'Yep, it's actually the biggest movie of all time.' 'Oh, great. Is it – What! The biggest movie of all time?!' He was like, 'That's amazing!' It was so sweet to see Kevin realize and Dick realized what they were talking about. It was really fun."

I absolutely love that Dick Van Dyke's awareness and reaction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the equivalent of your grandparents saying, "Oh, that's lovely!" when you showed them a rare Pokémon card or one of your favorite action figures. But even more charming is how kind and complimentary Van Dyke is in this moment, like he's proud of Kevin Feige, the grandson he just learned about. After being in show business for decades, it's nice to hear that Van Dyke is still a class act.

For more about how The Dick Van Dyke Show and other classic sitcoms influenced WandaVision, be sure to check out our interview with Matt Shakman. And while you're at it, read through our interview with Kevin Feige as well. Stay tuned later this week after the third episode of WandaVision premieres as we continue out deep dive into each episode with a spoiler discussion on the SlashFilm Daily podcast.