What If…?: Everything We Know About Disney+'s Animated MCU Show
Disney+ is getting an animated MCU show to explore alternate takes on key points in Marvel history
The lineup of Marvel Studios offerings for Disney+ is, unsurprisingly, pretty insane. From solo spin-off series for fan-favorite characters like Loki and Clint Barton, to the newly announced debuts for brand new MCU characters like She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel, the streaming service is shaping up to be a must-have for superhero fans. But one of the projects on the slate stands apart from the rest--and not only because it's the only animated MCU show currently in the roster.
What If…?, loosely based on the comic book series of the same name, is primed to start exploring all sorts of unknown and impossible corners of the MCU by digging into one deceptively simple concept: asking, literally, "What if a key moment in any given story had gone down differently?" Anchored by the omnipotent Watcher, a classic Marvel character who is new to the MCU, What If…? episodes will show weird and wonderful alternate takes on MCU timeline and history, with changes ranging from the fun and funny to downright disastrous.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige provided some much-needed details at both Disney's D23 Expo and San Diego Comic-Con this year, so we've compiled a list of everything we know about the show. We'll continue updating every time news breaks, so check back regularly.
The voice cast features tons of returning talent
The show may be animated, but it is definitely set within the live-action MCU, and as such, a massive roster of your favorite big-screen talents are returning to voice the animated versions of their characters. So far, the list of returning talent is as follows:
Michael B Jordan as Erik Killmonger
Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes
Josh Brolin as Thanos
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner
Tom Hiddleston as Loki
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Chris Hemsworth as Thor
Haley Atwell as Peggy Carter
Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa
Karen Gillen as Nebula
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang
Michael Douglas as Hank Pym
Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan
Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark
Sean Gunn as Kraglin
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster
David Dastmalchian as Kurt
Stanley Tucci as Dr. Erskine
Taika Waititi as Korg
Toby Jones as Arnim Zola
Djimon Housou as Korath
Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster
Michael Rooker as Yondu
Chris Sullivan as Taserface
Jeffery Wright as The Watcher
For as star-studded as the cast is, there are some obvious major players missing: notably Chris Evans, Scarlett Johanson, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Pratt, Zoey Saldana, Paul Betany, and Elizabeth Olsen--all of whom play characters we can assume will show up in some capacity or another, but will likely be voiced by new actors.
It's arriving on Disney+
What If…? is set to arrive on Disney+ in the summer of 2021.
The Watcher is the main character
While What If…? may be populated by familiar MCU faces, there is one new character in the mix: Uatu, aka The Watcher, an omnipotent being tasked with simply observing pivotal moments in time and space across the multiverse, voiced by Westworld's Jeffery Wright. Uatu will serve as both narrator and guide for the audience as they navigate the various hypothetical timelines that What If…? encounters.
It's loosely based on the comics
The first episode's plot is known
We already know what to expect from What If…?'s first episode, which has been discussed at length at both San Diego-Comic Con and D23 expo, where fans got a brief look at some unfinished animation. The story will feature an alternate take on Steve Rogers' origin, where, instead of getting the super serum, it's given to Peggy Carter who becomes Captain Britain (or "Captain Carter"), while skinny Steve joins the fight in a mech suit designed by Howard Stark.
We're getting Marvel Zombies
Also featured in the clips shown at D23 was confirmation that at least one episode will deal with Marvel Zombies, an ongoing alternate reality story featured in Marvel Comics in which the whole Marvel Universe becomes, well, zombies. That's pretty much it--a plague of undeath sweeps the superhero community and things go, predictably, completely off the rails. Eventually, all your favorite Marvel heroes become shambling, brain-eating corpses.
The clip contained Bucky Barnes coming face to face with a zombified Cap.