What If...? Showrunner Reveals the Watcher's Role in the Disney+ Show

At one point, Uatu the Watcher was a character owned by 20th Century Fox as a part of the Fantastic Four library of characters. Now The Walt Disney Company owns all things Fantastic Four (and X-Men) and Uatu is back at Marvel, allowing the House of Ideas to use him in an upcoming property. That property is What If...?, Marvel Studios' first foray into animation.

In a recent interview with Discussing Film, What If...? showrunner Ashley Bradley talked about the ins and outs of the MCU-adjacent show, including what Uatu's exact role would be. "It was actually fairly early and that first conversation with Brad Winderbaum," Bradley said when asked about deciding to use the Watcher.

Winderbaum — an executive producer on Thor: Ragnarok — then explained the company would have full access to Uatu after the rights reverted as part of the Fox/Disney Merger.

"He mentioned The Watcher, which kind of surprised me because he was a Fox character technically because he first appeared in Fantastic Four. He said 'no no no, he’s coming back' and I was like 'okay…'. We had a lot of conversations," explained Bradley. "It was really important to me that the watcher wasn’t an old white man in the spec. I don’t want him to be Santa Claus. I don’t want him to be this Western white version of God. That was not who the character should be and it can very easily go that way."

Uatu will be voiced by Boardwalk Empire and James Bond alum Jeffrey Wright, an announcement that was previously made at Comic-Con in July. Uatu will serve as the narrator for the show, which features the vast majority of MCU actors returning for voice acting roles. Discussing Film's interview with Bradley has since been removed from the outlet's website.

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What If...? is scheduled to hit Disney+ Summer 2021. What scenario would you like to watch play out on Marvel Studios' first animated series? Share your thoughts in the comments below or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things MCU!

Other upcoming Marvel Studios projects include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in Fall 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? in Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Marvel Studios Disney+ series without release dates include Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk.