Marvel Studios’ “What If…?“ animated series will debut on Disney Plus on August 11, 2021, and it will flip the script on the MCU, by reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways.
Before you watch the show, I put together some crucial information about the show, and here are 10 things you need to know about Marvel Studios’ “What If…?“:
1] The series is inspired by Marvel Comics’ “What If…?” comic book anthology series, which debuted in 1977.
2] It takes Loki’s introduction of the multiverse and runs with it, presenting alternate outcomes for our favorite MCU heroes and villains. AC Bradley, the head writer of the show, says “We came up with 30 loglines and pitched them to Kevin Feige. He picked 25 of them. That was big, because we knew we were on the right track. But then we had to narrow it down more, and eventually found our season.”
3] Each episode in the anthology show will feature “The Watcher” who introduces viewers each week to these alternate storylines. The Watcher can only watch – he can’t participate and he can’t intervene. “The Watcher views humanity as simple, lowly, disgusting,” says Bradley. “But at the same time, he’s fascinated by what he’s seeing. And the more he sees, the more his understanding of humanity evolves.”
4] The Watcher is voiced by actor Jeffrey Wright (The Hunger Games, Westworld), in his first Marvel role.
5] The series features the late Chadwick Boseman voicing his character T’Challa for the last time.
6] Over 50 other MCU actors are reprising their roles in the series, including: Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Benicio Del Toro, Bradley Whitford, Carrie Coon, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Sullivan, Clancy Brown, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Danai Gurira, David Dastmalchian, Djimon Hounsou, Dominic Cooper, Don Cheadle, Emily VanCamp, Evangeline Lilly, Frank Grillo, Georges St-Pierre, Hayley Atwell, Jaimie Alexander, Jeff Goldblum, Jeremy Renner, John Kani, Jon Favreau, Josh Brolin, Karen Gillan, Kat Dennings, Kurt Russell, Leslie Bibb, Mark Ruffalo, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Douglas, Michael Rooker, Natalie Portman, Neal McDonough, Ophelia Lovibond, Paul Bettany, Paul Rudd, Rachel House, Rachel McAdams, Samuel L. Jackson, Sean Gunn, Sebastian Stan, Seth Green, Stanley Tucci, Taika Waititi, Tilda Swinton, Toby Jones, Tom Hiddleston and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.
7] Eagle-eyed readers will notice some prominent MCU actors not on that list, like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johannson. Most likely, this is due to their contracts having expired prior to the show’s production.
8] The first episode of the show will ask What if…Agent Peggy Carter received the super serum instead of Steve Rogers, who has to fight the forces of evil in a mechanical suit? You can see a preview in the video below:
9] “What If…?” will feature Marvel Zombies in their first on-screen appearance. The storyline takes place on alternate universe Earth-2149, where the world’s superhero population has been infected with a virus which turned them into zombies. The comic’s story was initially written by Robert Kirkman (“The Walking Dead“). Here is the show’s poster for that episode:
10] Creating an episode of “What If…?” required a global effort. Storyboarding, design, and editorial teams were located in Los Angeles, with director Bryan Andrews at the helm. Three studios were then tapped to execute the actual animation: France’s Blue Spirit, Australia’s Flying Bark and Canada’s Squeeze.
Learn even more by watching these Marvel Studios trailers and featurette: