Marvel’s What If…? is the primary of its variety in lots of methods for the MCU. It’s the primary animated undertaking within the interconnected internet of films and TV reveals that Marvel Studios has been constructing out for the final decade.

As an alternative of specializing in a selected character or storyline, What If…? is an anthology collection that explores completely different different universes and realities that spin off from Marvel’s established movies and reveals to date. And it really works — after years of lore-heavy films and reveals, the animated present is a refreshing and enjoyable break of bite-sized superhero shenanigans.

Mild spoilers for What If…?, Loki, and the MCU observe

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

That flexibility was one of the vital thrilling issues in regards to the collection, head author A.C. Bradley tells The Verge. “They’re going to let me write all of them?” she remembers reacting when she was provided the present. “Because so often, women get to write the female heroes, and people of color get to write the people of color heroes, while white men get to write anything they want. So the fact that I was actually going to be able to write Doctor Strange and Iron Man and Killmonger — it was a dream come true. And I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

One episode, for instance, reimagines Captain America: The First Avenger with Peggy Carter receiving the Tremendous Solider Serum as a substitute of Steve Rogers; one other sees Yondu by chance nab T’Challa from Wakanda as a substitute of Peter Quill to turn into Star Lord. Different episodes seen within the trailer showcase a world of Marvel zombies, or Iron Man teaming up with Black Panther villain Killmonger.

It’s one of many greatest advantages of What If…?’s animated format, which allowed for tales to be advised with out (as a lot) consideration for places, CGI results, actor availability, and the sensible legal guidelines of physics that constrain live-action shoots. “[Animation] is a little bit more freeing in the sense that we’re gonna go to this location, this location, this location — as long as we manage our time properly enough where we can create and paint and draw those things, design those things, we can do it,” explains What If…? director Bryan Andrews.

Some concepts, although, had been too far out even for the preliminary run of What If…?. “There was definitely some stuff that was … way out there,” says Andrews. “Because at first [Marvel Studios] were like, ‘Yeah, go for it, what do you got?’ And we’re like, ‘Here,’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah, this is all awesome… Some of these maybe we can do later?’” The aim for the primary season, he explains, was to attempt to hold issues inside the ballpark of the prevailing MCU. “They just wanted to play it a little bit closer-ish, you know, spinning off moments that we clearly know or can recognize.”

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

One factor that followers gained’t see in What If…? — at the very least for now — is any of the multiversal fallout after Loki and Sylvie’s actions within the season finale of Loki. That’s for 2 causes. Probably the most sensible is the truth that What If…? really began manufacturing earlier than Loki did, due to the longer runway for animation. However the artistic crew additionally wished to keep away from tying down the brand new collection an excessive amount of.

“Early on, we had a couple of meetings to talk about what the rules of the multiverse will be,” Bradley explains. “I kind of took a step back and was like, I’m just gonna have fun. I’m not going to write any rules that’re going to step on the TVA. We’re not going to have, you know, The Watcher hanging out with Mobius just yet. We’re just going to show both Marvel and the fans all the weird and wild places that the multiverse can go and just get them excited for it.”

That doesn’t imply that What If…? and its alternate-universe takes on basic characters like Captain Carter may not seem in future live-action Marvel tasks down the road. “That [decision] belongs to someone with a bigger paycheck,” Bradley jokes. “It’d be cool,” Andrews provides.

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

However even when What If…?’s characters don’t instantly pop up in an upcoming film or Loki episode, it’ll have an effect on the broader MCU it doesn’t matter what. Andrews talked about that the Physician Unusual within the Multiverse of Insanity crew took a take a look at What If…?’s tackle the character because the live-action movie was being developed. “And maybe they were a little bit inspired,” says Andrews. “I like to think that they were.”

What If…? begins streaming at this time on Disney Plus.

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