Marvel Studios announced a slew of upcoming titles at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, which included details for its stacked slate of shows set for the streaming service Disney+. Marvel has a few live-action projects on the horizon that'll likely expand the lore of the MCU, and one animated series that will possibly turn it on its head. Of course, the latter is the previously rumored What If... series, which will bring hypothetical chaos to the MCU for some anthologized fun.
CinemaBlend's Sean O'Connell was lucky enough to talk with Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige at San Diego Comic-Con about What If...?, and he asked Marvel's main man if it was freeing to develop fully animated projects, as opposed to live-action epics. Feige confirmed it is indeed freeing, and he also answered whether this series is going to introduce wholly new characters, or if it will stick with the previously established MCU heroes and villains we already know.
It is incredibly liberating, it is an amazing opportunity we have. Disney+ has sent a wave of creativity through Marvel Studios in a really great way. That show, as I said, is going to focus on events you think you know everything about from the MCU, and when you change one thing here or there, how everything is different. So you will see primarily characters you've met before but, again, in entirely different ways.
Judging from Kevin Feige's response, it sounds as though a lot of What If...? will be centered on toying with fandoms and expectations by taking the same MCU characters we all know and love and putting them in somewhat familiar situations, only with tweaked circumstances. For example, Michael B. Jordan (who was super-bummed after playing Killmonger) is slated to return to lend his voice to What If...?, and his episode could cover something like "What if T'Challa actually died after his first battle with Killmonger in Black Panther?"
Michael B. Jordan is just one of the many exciting stars that Marvel Studios has secured for What If...?, as the full list teases many of the usual suspects in this multi-phase franchise, plus other familiar faces like Natalie Portman (who is back in the MCU in a big way) and Josh Brolin. There weren't any names on the cast list so far that teased new-to-MCU characters.
However, it is worth listening to Kevin Feige's statement to CinemaBlend in the video below. When hearing him say it out loud, it sounds like seeing some unexpected Marvel characters may very well be a possibility.
Marvel's What If...? series is based on the popular comic book run, which tackled the same concept Kevin Feige described. The difference between these two is that the show is geared towards exploring canon tales within the MCU, and changing aspects of the to show how characters would handle completely unfamiliar situations. So far, no explicit episode premises have been confirmed, but actors from Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man seem to make up a solid chunk of the cast.
What If...? is scheduled to arrive on Disney+ in 2021, so Marvel fans still have some time to wait before its arrival. Stick with CinemaBlend in the meantime for updates on its progress, as well as for a look at what else is happening in the world of television and movies.