What If Producer: MCU Animated Series Is "As Important" to Marvel's Multiverse as Loki

A producer of What If...? says it's "no coincidence" the Marvel Studios original animated series picks up where Loki left off — with the opening of the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse. When Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) discover He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) in the Citadel at the End of Time, they learn the creator of the Time Variance Authority and the keeper of the "Sacred Timeline" was protecting reality from someone far worse: his multiversal variants known as Kang the Conqueror. As the multiverse expands on both the big and small screen, executive producer Brad Winderbaum teases going where the MCU has never gone before when Marvel asks: "What If...?"

"It's no coincidence that the show picks up right after Loki…The multiverse has erupted in every possible direction," Winderbaum said during a virtual press event attended by ComicBook, adding Marvel Studios' first animated series "gives us a chance to explore that."

Marvel chief and producer Kevin Feige helped determine which MCU stories to twist in What If...?, asking such questions as, What If T'Challa of Wakanda (voice of Chadwick Boseman) became Star-Lord? What If Peggy Carter (voice of Hayley Atwell), not Steve Rogers, was empowered by the Super-Soldier serum? What If Spider-Man wore Doctor Strange's cloak to hunt zombified versions of Iron Man and the Scarlet Witch?

Amid rumors some of these characters might return in the feature film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Winderbaum said What If...? is just "as important" to the MCU as its live-action series and movies.

"I think that without going into great detail, I can tell you that What If…? — as a project, as a story that exists in the MCU — is as important as any other and is woven into that tapestry," the executive producer said.

In a press brief, Winderbaum described What If...? as an anthology narrated by Uatu the Watcher (voice of Jeffrey Wright). "The Watcher introduces us each week to these alternate storylines— each a kind of cautionary tale in the spirit of The Twilight Zone,'" he said. "We bounce around genres and tone—some episodes will be dramatic; some will be tragic or comedic."

Featuring the voices of more than 50 MCU cast members who reprise their roles — including Hiddleston as Loki, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Don Cheadle as War Machine, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange — Marvel's What If...? is streaming August 11 on Disney+.

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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.

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