Marvel’s What If…? head of animation says the Disney+ series is still in production despite the coronavirus pandemic and other MCU shutdowns.
Head of animation Stephan Franck says Marvel’s What If…? is still in production despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The animated series for Disney+ will see iconic characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in alternate timelines across 10 episodes. One example is a reality where Peggy Carter was given the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. The resulting story (which has been teased as the first episode) sees Rogers sporting an Iron Man-esque suit made by Howard Stark. Other alternate and confirmed scenarios include T’Challa becoming Star-Lord and Captain America transforming into a zombie.
The series will be narrator by an impartial being named Uatu the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) who, as his name indicates, watches the MCU from afar. Multiple MCU actors will reprise/voice their respective roles for the show. Based on the comics of the same name, What If…? will further explore the idea of the multiverse, first introduced in Avengers: Endgame. However, the narrative of What If…? will be more hypothetical than what fans may see in multiverse-centric projects like Loki, WandaVision, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
According to Newsarama, What If…?’s head of animation, Stephan Franck, says the show is still in production. Due to California’s stay-at-home order, work on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank has been suspended. This has not stopped Franck and others as they work remotely on What If…? Franck explained: “I normally split my day between my home studio and the Disney lot for dailies and reviews. But now we’re just doing it all remotely. From what I hear across town, animation has been able to keep the shows in production with everyone safely working from home. Kudos to the studios for pivoting so fast to remote work.”
Marvel has halted production on all of their live-action shows and movies while also delaying the release of projects like Black Widow. The coronavirus has forced the studio to revamp their Phase 4 slate; all of their feature film release dates have changed. However, the Disney+ shows, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, are still set to release in 2020. Despite the unpredictable circumstances, Disney has yet to announce any changes to Marvel’s Disney+ schedule. Given the fact that actors like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Sebastian Stan don’t know when filming will restart, fans shouldn’t get their hopes up.
What If…? Will release on Disney+ in summer 2021. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has already said season 2 is in the works, containing the same amount of episodes as season one. Given the demands of animation (and the current situation), it’s unlikely that much work on season 2 (beyond conceptual) will be getting done for quite some time. Fortunately, it seems like season 1 of Marvel’s What If…? is still very much on track.