Marvel’s What If…? premiered on Wednesday on Disney+, and marked the first animated television series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But this first outing is not the last as the studio already has big plans for the animated format.
Speaking to Variety on What If…? and his foray into the world of animation, Executive Producer Brad Winderbaum (Black Widow) said that Marvel Studios already has “multiple” animated series “in various phases of development” for Disney+, alongside a second season of What If…? Winderbaum also noted that a series of “photo-real” animated shorts focused on Baby Groot are also in production, although no plans for any feature length animated films have been discussed.
“We realized that there’s a lot of cool avenues you can explore with animation,” Winderbaum explained as the main driving point behind the leap into animation. “Any project that we create is going to be something that needs to be animated in order for the story to be told. There’s very little desire to take a piece of IP that’s popular because we’re coming out with a movie and just make an animated show about it. We’re not going to do that.”
What If…? hails from head writer A.C. Bradley and director Bryan Andrew. The first season is expected to only cover the events from the movies of the Infinity Saga.
“Marvel Studios’ first-ever animated series flips the script on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways,” reads the official synopsis, “It focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. Every story in the show will be non-canonical, as the stories will feature some wildly different outcomes from their actual events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
The animated series will feature the introduction of The Watcher, who serves as the narrator throughout the first season. The character is being voiced by Jeffrey Wright. The MCU actors who are set to reprise their roles in the series include Hayley Atwell, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael B. Jordan, Sebastian Stan, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Paul Rudd, Tilda Swinton, Taika Waititi, Danai Gurira, Paul Bettany, Rachel McAdams and more.