Mike Kelley created the Netflix series to be an anthology. The 10 episodes of What/If Season 1 dropped May 24th, following loving young married couple Lisa (Jane Levy) and Sean (Blake Jenner) as they debated an indecent proposal from ruthless San Francisco venture capitalist Anne Montgomery (Renée Zellweger).
Mike Kelley said his intention is to bring those stars, and others from Season 1, back for What/If Season 2 -- if there is one -- which would have no connection to Season 1.
Assuming everyone’s schedule lines up and they want to do it, my hope is to pull an American Horror Story and bring back the same actors to play different parts in each season.
That would be fantastic, if he can pull it off the way Ryan Murphy has for nine seasons and counting of American Horror Story on FX.
When the show was first announced, it was posed as exploring the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things. Each season of What/If was planned to tackle a different morality tale inspired by culturally consequential source material, following the power of a single fateful decision to change the trajectory of an entire life.
What/If's creator told TVLine his intention is for future seasons to take place in a universe where Season 1 never existed. So there would be no Anne Montgomery, Renée Zellweger’s character, in the world of Season 2.
Renee Zellweger recently explained that she was lured back to TV for the thrill of playing a character as "audacious and free" as Anne Montgomery. She told Refinery 29 she loved the pitch Mike Kelley gave her about the character as being an homage to The Graduate icon Mrs. Robinson and actress Anne Bancroft.
When asked about the possibility she'd return for Season 2, Renee Zellweger told Refinery 29 "Oh sure." She didn't have any screen icons ready when asked whom she'd like to channel next, simply saying this:
I don’t know. I guess it depends on what’s in Mike’s head for another round.
With Mrs. Robinson covered in What/If Season 1, there are any number of other characters to reference in Season 2 and beyond.
Netflix doesn't share much viewer data, so it's hard to know how popular What/If is to gauge the likelihood of Season 2. Netflix tends to be data-driven and its whole system seems to see most shows as too expensive after, say, Season 3. But hopefully this one continues at least for one more round.