With Marvel's What If...? the Marvel Cinematic Universe has found its first animated entry but also tapped into a major piece of comic lore, technically two, as it adapted the popular comic book series and also brought in a major Marvel character The Watcher. Though Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 previously featured versions of The Watcher, actor Jeffrey Wright lent his voice to the version seen in the Disney+ series and had made it a big piece of the MCU. Speaking in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis, Wright opened up about taking on the role and how he brought some of his Marvel knowledge to the role (something that not every actor has to be honest).
"I had some knowledge. I'm not an encyclopedia. My son is the encyclopedia," Wright said. "I took him, he's 19 now. So I took him to his first Marvel movie, I guess he was nine or 10. So I viewed many of these films through his eyes and he like all Marvel heads, deeply invested in this stuff. And so when they asked me to be a part of it first, I asked him if he knew anything about The Watcher and of course he did. He was, 'Oh, wow. Oh man.' And he described this kind of quasi God-like character who kind of exists outside of things."
He continued, "I was excited to take it on, one because he's such a fan, but also I found the character interesting and the possibilities interesting with this character that he is kind of uniquely powerful and that he can traverse all of these different parts of the multi-verse. That was interesting to me. And then to kind of come back and work from on the animated piece through my voice is something that I enjoy doing. I enjoy doing voice work and trying to figure out if I can play certain notes and bring certain qualities through the voice that lend itself to whatever's on the screen. That's fun. That's fun for me."
Though Wright's narration in each episode notes how his character is destined to only witness and not interfere, he correctly points out that this isn't always true. Wright went on to tease that this might happen in the MCU in some capacity.
"We'll see where he goes. We'll see how dispassionate he is about all of this. But I mean the first time we see him on the moon in Fantastic Four, he finds himself in the middle of this cold war, east versus west, proxy battle. And he kicks some ass, he's awesome, man. I mean, he's not to be toyed with, The Watcher. Don't get it twisted, I'm observing until I'm not, at least in that instance. So yeah. There's some fun stuff to be had with him. We'll see where it goes."