Marvel hopes that its new animated anthology series What If…? may provide a path into the MCU for new, younger fans born after Iron Man.
Marvel is hoping its new series What If…? will provide a path into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for younger fans born after Iron Man. What If…? is Marvel Studios’ first venture into an animated show, taking its title and concept from the comics of the same name. The original What If comics imagine hypothetical Marvel storylines, swapping out major characters and plot lines and dropping them into different parts of the universe. The show deals with questions like, what if Peggy Carter was Captain America? Or, what if Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Star-Lord was actually T’Challa/Black Panther?
The series has largely managed to maintain the original actors from MCU films as the voices of the What If…? characters. Stars reprising their roles include Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola), and the late Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther). There are some notable absences, however, as Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), and Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) do not appear in season 1. What If…? arrived on Disney+ August 11 but has already been renewed for season 2.
However, What If…? isn’t simply fan service for those already loyal to the MCU. According to a recent interview given by Marvel’s head of streaming, television, and animation, Brad Winderbaum, to THR, the creators are hoping that animated shows like What If…? are a gateway to reaching younger people who weren’t born when when Iron Man was released in 2008.
Marvel’s approach to What If…? makes a lot of sense. Since it’s not anchored to the established reality of the MCU, newer and younger viewers will have a chance to simply enjoy the characters and plot lines on the show, without prior knowledge of how the stories should pan out. What’s more, the series may also prompt new viewers to explore the MCU after watching season 1, curious to see the original versions of What If…?‘s reimagined reality. For example, viewers who only see the show’s hypothetical Captain Carter may want to delve into Marvel’s Captain America catalogue, while the Star-Lord as T’Challa plot may bring a new audience to both Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther.
For those who enjoy the studio’s move into animation, there is more good news: What If…? is by no means the only animated series in the works for Marvel. It’s clear the company is hoping to break new, fruitful ground with the show, opening the door for similar projects in the future. In the mean time, there is What If…? season 2 to look forward to.
Next: Every Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe Movie
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- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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