Marvel Studios’ “What If…?” Press Conference Highlights

Hi everyone!

I was invited to the virtual Marvel Studios’ “What If…?” press conference that featured Jeffrey Wright (voice of “The Watcher”), director Bryan Andrews, head writer AC Bradley and executive producer Brad Winderbaum. Brandon Davis of Comicbook.com hosted.

The official blurb for “What if…?” says, “What If…?” flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. Directed by Bryan Andrews with AC Bradley as head writer, “What If…?” launches exclusively on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.

Davis asked Winderbaum what inspired “What If…?”, and why is now the time to dive into an animated multiverse story like this on Disney+. Winderbaum said, “It was a stroke of inspiration that happened on the drive home from work one day. And I found myself in my driveway just texting with Kevin Feige, back and forth, about what this show could be.”  The next day, the “wheels were in motion” for the series.

Davis then turned to Wright for an overview of his character, The Watcher. Wright answered, “He’s a fairly dramatic guy. He’s a fairly powerful guy. He’s kind of overseeing the entire MCU (laughing). He’s overseeing the multiverses and…he plays somewhat of a Rod Serling role here. Kind of narrating, kind of not.”

Actor Chadwick Boseman voiced his role of T’Challa. Winderbaum said it was amazing to work with Boseman. “We only got a small amount of time because our episodes are so short…we had him for a little moment, to do our thing and we’re so grateful for it”. Winderbaum believes that Boseman was one of the first actors to sign on, and continued that Boseman was theatrically trained. “He really wanted to do it like a play. Like, reading the scene descriptions in between…really build it out like a play. Because that’s how he’s trained, that’s what he’s comfortable with and that’s what he wanted to do.”  Winderbaum said that Boseman talked about how he was excited to play this version of T’Challa because it was different. Winderbaum continued, “And, you know, none of us knew what he was going through at the time…” (Boseman passed away August 28th, 2020).

Andrews likened “What If…?” to “The Twilight Zone” in that its an anthology. “It’s like, you never know what you’re gonna get. You might get an episode that’s comedy, you might get an episode that’s kind of dramatic and serious, like, super emotional, full of action… and this gave us an opportunity to apply a little taste of a variety of genres into the Marvel cinematic universe.”

Check out the official trailer for What If…?

What If… ? debuts August 11, 2021 exclusively on Disney+.