Unlike the rest of Marvel’s newer streaming shows which, at first, all appeared to be self-contained character studies, the upcoming What If uses the universe-altering events of Loki to springboard into a cavalcade of stories set all throughout the MCU’s sprawling multiverse. There are so many tales of what might have been if things played out differently, that there was no way all of the creative team’s ideas could fit into a single season of animated television. So, of course, What If will be back for a second season.
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The Disney+ animated series What If brings back a number of familiar faces (and voices) in order to reimagine many of its iconic heroes, and the Phase 4 series makes a point of putting its spotlight on characters like Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa who’ve only enjoyed but so much major screen time. But in order to set What If up as an important component of the MCU’s future, the creative team knew they’d need a hero to act as a throughline for the series, especially as they looked to the future. When io9 recently spoke with What If’s executive producer Brad Winderbaum, he described how, early into the show’s development as they were shaping their characters, it was decided that they needed someone vital—“not more important than the rest, but [someone who] had a strong relationship with the Watcher—who was our driving force behind the series—and that’s Captain Carter.”
After first appearing in Marvel Puzzle Quest, and then making the jump to comics in Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez’s Exiles, Captain Peggy Carter’s making her way to What If, and Winderbaum explained how the team decided that hers would be the story to continue going forward. “We realized as we started developing the second season that Captain Carter was going to be the character we would revisit in every season, and continue that adventure,” Winderbaum said. “Obviously, we’re telling a story on a giant multiversal canvas. So you never really know who’s going to pop up where and when. It’s very much an anthology, but there’s always opportunity for fun connections to be made.”
What If’s head writer A.C. Bradley, director Bryan Andrews, story editor Matt Chauncey, junior executive Simona Paparelli, and script coordinator, Ryan Little ended up coming up with 30 episode ideas for the show. From those, Kevin Feige selected 10 that became What If’s first season, and Winderbaum stated that many of the pitches that weren’t explored this go around are very much on the table for the next.
“We are fortunate enough to be exploring some of those ideas in our second season, but the world’s changed and the fictional Marvel Universe has changed,” Winderbaum said. “So new ideas also bubble forth, and new stories and new opportunities come about. So, yes, you will have an opportunity to see at least some of those.”
What If begins streaming on Disney+ on August 11. Keep an eye on io9 this week for more.
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