While anything is possible in Marvel’s upcoming Disney + series What if…? including putting together some Avengers, the project puts together its own crew of talented creatives who bring the stories to life.
Brad Winderbaum executive producer (THOR: Ragnarok, Black widow), Chief author AC Bradley (arrow, Tales of Arcadia Franchise) and director Bryan Andrews (Avengers: Endgame, Samurai Jack) form a dream team that brings familiar stories from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to life in new and interesting ways.
“I hope people are just ready to have a good time,” muses Winderbaum, warning that they will both “laugh and cry” during the rollout of the animated series, which includes Jeffrey Wright’s narrator, The Watcher. Some of these tears will definitely be for Chadwick Boseman as the deceased Black Panther Actor made his final MCU appearance as T’Challa on the series. As mentioned earlier, Boseman borrows his vocals in four of the season’s episodes.
“It was so fun watching actors who’d played these roles in live action come in and find themselves washing their hands off what they’d done before and doing something brand new can do, ”continues Winderbaum. “There was a certain euphoria associated with that, and I think everyone really enjoyed tearing down their sandcastle and rebuilding it.”
One character he’s particularly excited about is a version of Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder. “Just wait until you meet ‘Party Thor’,” enthuses Winderbaum. “This character is amazing.” These are just a few of the fan-favorite characters who make animated appearances as multiple MCU stars repeat their roles.
Bradley recalls working with Samuel L. Jackson when she asked him to create an outbound voicemail greeting for his character Nick Fury during one of the recording sessions. “He laughed and said, ‘Okay, I got it. I got it.’ And it was: ‘You know who that is, you know what to do.’ “
“I was like, ‘Why didn’t I get my cell phone out and record that?'” Says Bradley with a laugh. She also teases that she got Michael Douglas to say something interesting while he was recording for Hank Pyms What if…? the appearance. “I awkwardly asked legend Michael Douglas to say ‘that Gothic kid,’ she reveals.
The animated What if…? continues to build on the multiverse concept that the MCU has pervaded through its past titles, including the latest series, Loki, in which the god of mischief (Tom Hiddleston) and his female counterpart Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) share the timeline.
The fragmentation of different timelines opens up favorite stories for new interpretations, starting with the First Avenger. Rather than Steve Rogers taking over from Captain America, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is in the limelight as Captain Carter, the first female super soldier.
“Each episode should be a story of its own. A genre of its own. Have a tone of their own. So we have comedy, we have drama, we have a spy thriller, ”Bradley shares. “Hopefully there is something for everyone. And one of our goals is to include as many characters, locations and iconic moments loved by the MCU as possible. “
Helping familiarity with visual representations, Andrews teases, “It’s fun to play with something we all know and recreate that image,” he says. “I played a lot with the action in the Marvel films that I was working on. It was great fun bringing new action into that [MCU]. “
Whether this new action goes beyond animation remains to be seen, but Winderbaum isn’t ruling out the possibility. “I can only say that the potential is always there,” he says of the chances of some What if…? Characters could appear in other Marvel projects. “It’s still part of this huge narrative and like any other project that was there before, it could ricochet off with another project at some point. That potential exists in What if…? as.”
See what all the hype is about when the series debuts on Disney + and stay tuned every Wednesday for new episodes.
Marvels What if …?, Series premiere, Wednesday August 11, Disney +