Vision TV Series Coming from Terry Matalas

Marvel is calling in whatever big guns it has left, from within and without. In October of 2022, Jeff Sneider reported that Marvel was putting together a writers’ room to work on a Disney+ show called Vision Quest, which would center on Vision. This would presumably have been the resurrected – or, more accurately, rebuilt – one from WandaVision, a white version of the previously reddish robot who’d been given his predecessor’s memories and, at the end of that series, flew away to figure out who he was. The project was never mentioned again, so most assumed it had been abandoned if it was ever really a thing. But today, Variety exclusively revealed that a Vision series is indeed being planned, and Terry Matalas will serve as the showrunner.  While the title Vision Quest is not mentioned in the article, Variety confirms that a series about the android Avenger had been in development with Jac Shaeffer, the creator of WandaVision, but Shaeffer left it behind to focus on another WandaVision spin-off, Agatha All Along. The Vision series is scheduled to air on Disney+ in 2026, and Paul Bettany will return in the lead role.

Well, that’s certainly better than anything else they’ve announced for Disney+ outside of Daredevil: Born Again. How insane is Marvel to have pushed aside a Vision show for Agatha All Along? Did they really think Agatha Harkness could carry a show better than an Avenger? Based on where WandaVision left him, the show practically writes itself; he’ll almost certainly be trying to forge an identity based on the memories of the first Vision. There are plenty of interesting questions about humanity a show like that can explore, like what makes us who we are, if we’re the sum of our memories or experiences, if we’re beholden to who we were or if we can abandon it to become who we want to be. It’s a classic sci-fi setup, and Paul Bettany is a good actor who can explore that well if he has the right material. What is Agatha Harkness going to be doing? Finding more witches to… do some witch stuff? Her goal in WandaVision was getting her hands on the Darkhold, and Wanda destroyed all versions of that book in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness when she – okay, I can’t force myself to pretend that I believe she’s dead, but the point is that Agatha’s reason for being is gone, so she feels like she’s done as a character. With Vision, there’s a lot of potential to explore his character and, through him, some grander themes.

But it’s more than the concept that makes me hopeful for a Vision series. (Marvel has struck out on plenty of ideas that could have made great movies and shows.) They hired Terry Matalas as the showrunner for this one. If you don’t recognize the name, Terry Matalas was the showrunner for season 3 of Picard, the Star Trek series that brought back Patrick Stewart’s captain from The Next Generation. I never watched the show, but I follow people who do, and the consensus seems to be that the show was absolutely dreadful and destroyed Picard and other Star Trek characters and concepts… until Terry Matalas came aboard and turned it around, giving fans a season that did their heroes proud. That sounds fantastic, and I’m impressed that Marvel went after that guy to make a TV show for them. It suggests two things to me: first, maybe they realize how badly they’ve messed things up, and they need someone who’s got a reputation for fixing disasters to help them claw their way out of the crater they’ve sunk themselves into. And second, they haven’t lost – or maybe they’ve rediscovered – their ability to recognize real talent. So many of the writers and directors they’ve put on their movies and shows have been people who’ve made lousy productions for them in the past or nobodies who came cheap but had no idea what they were doing. Terry Matalas has something he can point to that’s exactly what Marvel needs right now, and he’s earned a tremendous amount of goodwill (a resource Marvel has exhausted, and then some). He also co-created the TV version of 12 Monkeys, which was well-liked as well. And think about those two credits: Star Trek (at its best) and 12 Monkeys are more cerebral sci-fi stories that meditate on the kind of grand themes and truths about humanity that a Vision series could explore. This should be a match made in heaven.

That doesn’t mean I’m getting my hopes up too high. As good as Terry Matalas may be and as much potential as a Vision series has, the quality rests on Marvel and Disney getting out of the way and letting the talented guy they hired work in peace with his fellow creatives. These buffoons have lost the benefit of the doubt when it comes to creativity, and if they want this to work, they need to be self-aware enough to realize that they’re the ones who need Matalas’ help, not the other way around. That means no notes about fitting in the multiverse or some stupid Z-level comics character they want to push, no forced diversity, no insistence that there be a lame joke every few seconds, and no blatant sociopolitical messages shoved in where they don’t belong. There’s a scene at the beginning of Angel’s first season finale where Vocah, a demon described as “the warrior of the underworld,” is summoned to set right the various things the bad guys on Earth have been screwing up. When they ask him how they can help, Vocah says, “You can leave it to me.” This needs to be the dynamic for Marvel from now on: hire good people and leave it to them.

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