Marvel's What If...? series head writer and producer A.C. Bradley accidentally spoiled some of the biggest twists of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for herself while pitching the show. In a new interview, Bradley recalls how she presented her ideas for What If...? to Marvel Studios - including episodes that featured an old man version of Steve Rogers/Captain America, and one focused on Jane Foster's Mighty Thor. Unfortunately, Bradley had her ideas rejected - mostly because Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios creative team were already planning to use them! Bradley had to learn some early spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and Thor: Love & Thunder - but hey, that sacrifice landed her the job at What If...?
In an interview with Total Film magazine, A.C. Bradley recalls which actual MCU reveals she tried to pitch as What If...? episode concepts - including her foot-in-mouth experience with Jane Foster's Mighty Thor:
"My first week, I wanted to do Jane Foster Thor and I was told no... I went into a whole feminist rant of why characters are important and why they're necessary and why a woman needs to be able to wield the hammer and then they were like, 'Yeah, we're gonna do it in live-action...' I also pitched old-man Steve and Professor Hulk... this was before they let me see Endgame."
Bradley also recalls getting the call that let her know that her somewhat embarrassing presentation to Marvel was actually a major boon:
"The next day, I had a call and they said, 'If you can guess what we're doing in the big MCU, you can definitely handle the weird MCU.' And that was back in October 2018."
The "weird MCU" is certain the name for what has occurred in the franchise since Avengers: Endgame was released; Bradley's quote is first-hand evidence that Marvel Studios fully understood - as far back as 2018 - just how weird things were about to get with the franchise, in Phase 4. The fact that Bradley's imagination synced up with Marvel Studios' actual plans is just about the most impressive job audition story you can go with.
So far, it seems like the ideas that A.C. Bradley and the rest of the What If...? are going with are jsut as good as the ones left on the cutting room floor. The more and more the MCU Phase 4 saga unfolds, the clearer it is that What If...? actually has strong connective threads to major events - such as Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter living out alternate heroic lives in an alternate 1950s. Fans seem to love that prospect even more than "Old Man Cap" story.
Marvel's What If....? will stream on Disney+ starting on August 11th.