Late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman voices T'Challa in four episodes of the Marvel Studios animated series What If...? on Disney+, ComicBook has learned from executive producer Brad Winderbaum. Marvel chief and producer Kevin Feige was the first to reveal Boseman recorded multiple episodes of the series before his death from colon cancer last August, making the animated show Boseman's final performance as T'Challa of Wakanda. Episode 2 of What If...?, premiering with the Captain Carter episode on August 11, asks: "What if..." T'Challa became Star-Lord of the Guardians of the Galaxy?
What If...? executive producer Brad Winderbaum confirmed Boseman's four-episode role in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com. "He's in four episodes, actually," Winderbaum told ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis. "He plays different versions of the character. I wouldn't say that anything changed drastically. We wanted to honor, frankly, his performance and his eagerness to be a part of the project. In retrospect, he recorded this episodes for us knowing what we all know now. We wanted to honor what he did, so we actually didn't change a lot of it. There were certain things, in the context of his passing, especially musically...Lauren Karpman delivered what I think is an incredible score for the entire series and the way she approached T'Challa throughout, especially in light of his passing, is really beautiful."
During a global press conference on Sunday, director Bryan Andrews revealed Boseman was among the first actors to sign onto the series featuring the voices of more than 50 MCU cast members. "It was amazing to work with him," Andrews said of Boseman, who debuted as T'Challa in Captain America: Civil War before reprising the role in Black Panther and two Avengers sequels. "We only got a small moment because the episode was so short. Everyone was able to enjoy his presence. I think that he was even one of the first actors to sign on for the voice cast. I remember we were all so excited because we wanted to work with Chadwick and we all loved Black Panther."
On working with the theatrically-trained Boseman, Andrews added: "Sometimes actors just want to hit the line and move on to the next one. But Chadwick wanted to do his part as a scene and build it up like a play. It was so much fun to do that because we got to read lines and do a performance with Chadwick Boseman."
Meshing the Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises to create the amalgam T'Challa Star-Lord was exciting for Boseman "because it was different," the director said. "Because it was a version of him playing the king, but the king without the mantle, the royalty, and everything else that goes along with it. He could lighten it up and get more jokey with it. He was excited to bring back that flavor to T'Challa."
Marvel Studios' "What If…?" flips the script on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Creating a multiverse of infinite possibilities, "What If… ?" features fan-favorite characters, including Peggy Carter, T'Challa, Doctor Strange, Killmonger, Thor and more. Bryan Andrews (Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars) executive produces and directs; AC Bradley (Netflix's Trollhunters, 3Below: Tales of Arcadia) is head writer.
For more of Comicbook.com's interviews surrounding the release of What If...?, stay tuned to ComicBook.com/Marvel and tune into the Phase Zero podcast on any major podcast platform! Marvel's What If...? is streaming August 11 on Disney+.