The belief Marvel Studios’ animated What If...? will feature one Marvel Cinematic Universe movie per episode is a “rumor,” showrunner Ashley Bradley has clarified. The first animated series produced by the studio overseen by chief Kevin Feige, What If...? will involve “the majority” of characters from Marvel’s 23-movie MCU, often with multiple characters per episode, but the Disney+ series will not dedicate an episode to every blockbuster produced by the Disney-owned studio.
“That is a rumor. Kevin said that we will be exploring every movie in a new way, but not every episode is about one movie if that makes sense,” Bradley told Discussing Film. “On the reel [shown at D23 Expo], there is this image of a Star-Lord T’Challa because we wanted to see what if the worlds of Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy collided? That was taking two universes, two to three movies, kind of twisting them in new ways.”
Giving each MCU entry its own episode is “not the objective,” Bradley said. “The objective is to hopefully see the majority of characters from all 23 movies. You’ll see multiple characters in an episode.”
That episode cited by Bradley depicts T’Challa, best known as superhero Black Panther and the monarch of the African kingdom of Wakanda, instead following a path where he becomes leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy as cosmic adventurer Star-Lord, the moniker typically belonging to Peter Quill.
“With Star Lord T’Challa obviously, we want to know how T’Challa ended up in other planets? What’s the story there? It’s super exciting to work on because again, it’s seeing these characters and seeing the combination of character interactions,” Bradley said. “Seeing the Avengers hang out together and more recently [Avengers: Endgame] gave us the fun of seeing something like Ant-Man hanging out with the Hulk. What If…? is taking it a step further.”
Jeffrey Wright narrates as The Watcher, overseeing a confirmed cast of multiple MCU actors, including Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Brolin, Hayley Atwell, Chadwick Boseman, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Natalie Portman, Michael Douglas, Dominic Cooper, Karen Gillan, Michael B. Jordan, Sebastian Stan, Michael Rooker, Tom Hiddleston and more.
Belonging to Marvel Studios’ Phase 4, the animated series is joined by live-action Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, Hakweye, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight. Marvel Studios will premiere What If...? exclusively on the Disney+ streaming service sometime in summer 2021.