Jac Schaeffer on “Disparate, Mixed Bag of Witches”


Posted in: Disney+, Marvel, Movies, Preview, Trailer, TV | Tagged: agatha, agatha all along, disney, Marvel Studios, WandaVision

Agatha All Along series creator Jac Schaeffer on the “disparate, mixed bag of witches” we can expect, witch lore-focused new music, and more.

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With the “WandaVision” spinoff set for a two-episode debut on September 18th, it looks like Marvel Studios is beginning to rev up the promo machine for Disney+’s Kathryn Hahn-starring Agatha All Along.  In the current issue of Empire, series head writer & executive producer Jac Schaeffer offered some insights into the “disparate, mixed bag of witches” that viewers can expect – and that lineup includes Patti LuPone‘s Lilia, Sasheer Zamata‘s Jennifer, Debra Jo Rupp‘s Sharon, and Ali Ahn‘s Alice. “What they have in common is that they’re covenless witches. Witches are defined by deception, treachery, villainy, and selfishness. What do you do when you have a group of witches who [demonstrate] those notions, and you need them to work together?” A whole bunch of chaos magic, you’d expect,” Schaeffer shared.

Agatha: Darkhold DiariesAgatha: Darkhold Diaries
Image: Marvel Studios Screencap

In terms of the music that viewers can expect from “Agatha All Along” songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Schaeffer notes that a number of aspects of witch lore will be targeted. “[Where] ‘WandaVision’ played with the form of classic TV sitcoms, [here] we do a lot of playing with what the assumptions about witches are. Like, what are the shorthand visuals for witches?” And what about our lead witch? Should we expect her wicked ways to get even more wicked? It looks like we’re going to get a chance to see some other side of Agatha. “We certainly didn’t want a one-dimensional nasty witch. We will have moments where we see Agatha’s true heart,” the series creator added.

Agatha All Along: Jac Schaeffer on Agatha All Along: Jac Schaeffer on
Image: Marvel Studios Screencap

Joining Hahn on the “WandaVision” spinoff are Aubrey Plaza, Patti LuPone, Debra Jo Rupp, Joe Locke, Sasheer Zamata, Emma Caulfield FordDavid Payton, David Lengel, Asif Ali, Amos Glick, Brian Brightman, Kate Forbes, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Maria Dizzia. In addition, head writer & executive producer Jac Schaeffer is directing several episodes, with Gandja Monteiro (Netflix’s Wednesday) and Rachel Goldberg (Peacock’s A Friend of the Family) helming. Here’s a look back at the announcement teaser that went out last month, confirming the title and premiere date:

Agatha All Along Overview Offers Interesting Details

Back in February of this year, we had some very interesting intel to pass along from the professional website of a production designer (and an art director on WandaVision) who is working on the series. What follows is a summary that offers some very interesting details on what viewers can expect when the series premieres later this year – you’ve been warned: “When a new series of tragedies strike the city of Westview again, the newly reformed Agatha Harkness will be forced to join forces with the reincarnation of her former enemy’s son, Billy Kaplan, to discover what force from the past is causing chaos in Westview as she seeks redemption for her mistakes of the past.” While there’s a chance that it might not be “official” official, the fact that it was listed by someone working directly with the production made it worth sharing.

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Image: Marvel Studios Screencap

LuPone was a guest on the You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton podcast with Hillary Clinton & Amber Ruffin, where the award-winning icon of stage & screen’s career was spotlighted. LuPone discussed what a bonding experience it was filming the series – especially how close she and Plaza became. During the conversation, LuPone revealed that filming the series was finished just before the SAG-AFTRA strike kicked in and that it’s set to be released around Halloween 2024 release (with LuPone adding a great line about needing a walker by then). Here’s a look at the entire episode – with LuPone discussing the Marvel Studios & Disney+ series around the 34:05 mark:

Sasheer Zamata Discusses Playing Jennifer Kale

Zamata discussed the MCU series during a pre-SAG-AFTRA & WGA strikes interview with Mashable. With the topic of witches & witchcraft being one that’s fascinated her for some time (including helping to inspire her stand-up special The First Woman), Zamata explained that getting the role of sorceress Jennifer Kale just felt right. “I had already written material for [‘The First Woman’] before I went through the audition process. It felt magical that I got to be in a show about witches. I talk about it so much in my special,” Zamata shared.

Though her character has a number of past connections to popular Marvel Comics characters (Man-Thing, Howard the Duck, Doctor Strange, and others), the actress shared that her take on the Steve Gerber & Rich Buckler-created character will be “very different” from what comics fans might be expecting. “I definitely did do as much [comic book] research as I could, but the way we formed this character is very different from what I think people expect,” Zamata added. And from how she describes it, the vibe on the set seemed to fit perfectly with what she was hoping for. “[Filming ‘Agatha’] was so magical and ethereal. It brought that out of everyone on set. There were crystals and candles everywhere. We saged and cleansed the stage all the time. It was the perfect environment for me,” Zamata explained.

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