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Given Disney's increased holdings in the world of film and television, its annual convention D23 was more important this year than in years' past. We got exciting new Star Wars footage, a look ahead at Phase 4 of the MCU, and of course, a bunch on the upcoming shows headed to Disney+. That included information on the much anticipated Marvel shows, such as the animated What If...? series that will feature a whopping 23 episodes. That's right, one episode for each movie released in the MCU to date.
That's no coincidence as each episode of What If...? will have each entry changing up one major plot point of each movie. The changing of a plot point angle was assumed prior to D23, considering that jives with the premise of the staple comic series of the same name. What is surprising is that each episode will focus on a specific Marvel film, and flip the previously known plot of it in one key way.
As far as what premises Marvel fans should expect, CinemaBlend and others in attendance at the D23 Expo saw brief footage that showed an animated Peggy Carter taking the super soldier serum over Steve Rogers. There was also a tease of a zombie Captain America, Steve Rodgers fighting in WWII in some Hulkbuster-esque Iron man suit, and a black Peter Quill who obviously looked a bit different than Chris Pratt's Star Lord.
Though the project is animated, Marvel's What If...? will utilize a bulk of the MCU's actors and actresses to serve as the voices for their characters in animation. As mentioned, the core premise of the series is to switch up one key plot point of a MCU movie to see how it would influence the rest of the story audiences already know. As of now, all episodes seem standalone and disconnected per the one-shot premise of the comic.
That's not a guarantee, of course, and there are other questions about Marvel's What If...? that have yet to be answered. For example, the 23 episode announcement (via Collider) implies that Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home will have episodes despite the ongoing tension between Marvel and Sony with Spider-Man. One would assume that would've been addressed if the episode was no longer possible, though, so perhaps the collapse of that deal won't affect what's happening here.
Another question some may be wondering is if there's a possibility that any of these animated shows could develop into their own spinoffs at Marvel. For example, Hayley Atwell's Captain Carter got quite the reception at D23, and it wouldn't be surprising if there were calls for a series that took place in that alternate timeline. So far there's no word on that, though Atwell did confirm that fan love for Peggy Carter helped make this incoming scenario possible.
Lots of things can happen between now and the arrival of Marvel's What If...? which is slated to premiere on Disney+ summer 2021. Stick with CinemaBlend going forward for more information on other upcoming Disney+ shows, and to stay up to date on the major happenings in the world of television and movies.