Marvel’s Next Show Could Have More Impact Than We Thought – Inside the Magic


All images Credit: Marvel Studios

It’s been just over seven months since the start of 2021 and already Marvel Studios has delivered three massive TV shows and a new blockbuster movie. WandaVision opened the year, impressively kicking off Marvel’s delayed Phase 4 – and it was certainly worth the wait. Then Marvel fans were treated to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki. The latter, of course, broke all kinds of records.

Then there is Black Widow (2021), with Scarlett Johansson’s solo release dominating the box office on its opening weekend. Next is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe animated series, What if…? and despite seemingly lower expectations than its predecessors, the new project could quietly change the MCU forever.

Wonder what if ...?  title card

Starting August 11, 2021, Marvel’s debut look What if…? dropped out just a few weeks ago and offered a little peek at this global MCU animated series. With a premise that poses the simple question of “What if?”, This new show sees the vast cast of Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe take on new roles.

So far, we know that Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa will be mentored by Yondu (Michael Rooker) instead of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), and will be the Star-Lord in this Marvel Universe. We also know that Hayley Atwell’s Agent Peggy Carter will be back, although here it will be Agent Carter who takes the Super Solder Serum in place of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and becomes Captain Carter.

What if Peggy Carter
Credit: Marvel Studios

What if…? can ask these interesting questions and give beloved characters new stories, but the majority of actors will be back to voice their anime counterparts. Interestingly, characters like Captain Marvel and Doctor Strange will be voiced by new actors even though they both have upcoming movies – Wonders (2022) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). At the moment, we don’t know why Brie Larson and Benedict Cumberbatch are not integrated. What if…?.

the What if…? The trailer offered a glimpse of the type of adventures superheroes will face. One moment reunited Atwell’s Captain Carter with the Supreme Wizard amid scenes of the last starry hero battling a monster with green tentacles.

Doctor Strange and Peggy Carter in What if ...?
Credit: Marvel Studios

Let’s unpack.

When viewed through Captain Carter’s interaction with Doctor Strange, this monster could possibly be Shuma-Gorath – the New York Wizard’s longtime opponent. Interestingly, Shuma-Gorath is said to be the big bad in the upcoming Doctor strange after. That is to say, in the broadest sense, this encounter in What if…? might suggest that the animated series might have more of an impact on subsequent MCU movies.

shuma gorath doctor strange
Credit: Marvel Comics

On top of that, a new rumor indicates that Atwell’s Captain Carter would make an appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Via The DisInsider Show podcast:

“[What If…? is] not the last time we’re going to see Captain Carter. We hear… it’s unconfirmed. Captain Carter is supposed to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

WHAT IF...?
Credit: Marvel Studio

Marvel Studios or The Walt Disney Company have not confirmed Atwell’s appearance in the film, but the rumor carries weight when watching What if…? as a potential configuration. So what, What if…? could be a chance for Marvel fans to be gently introduced to a whole roster of new characters that could later be explored in MCU feature films in Phases 4, 5 and beyond.

In fact, with Doctor Strange tackling the multiverse in its sequel, there are plenty of other characters we know – and don’t know – may appear alongside Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange and Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch).

Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch in Wandavision Finale
Credit: Marvel Studios

It might seem a bit haphazard to introduce new characters, especially when fans have been emotionally invested with certain heroes for over 10 years but with Loki Opening up the Multiverse wide, it’s a smart move on Marvel’s part to bring in other versions of fan-favorite characters under the guise of a “what if?” story.

Speaking of Loki, Tom Hiddleston himself also recently teased that the animated series would make an impact on the MCU later on. Speaking on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the Loki the actor said:

sophia di martino as lady loki sylvie (left) and tom hiddleston as loki (right) in loki on disney plus
Credit: Marvel Studios

“I am intrigued because I haven’t seen everything” […] “And then that sets up a whole bunch of stuff in the MCU that I don’t know a thing about,”

Hiddleston’s comments here are slightly surprising for the reason that What if…?Despite its clever premise, at first this game-changing series doesn’t seem like Marvel seems to set it up as – especially when seen alongside the hype surrounding it. WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki.

Peggy and Captain America kiss
Credit: Marvel Studios

Anything that comes to fruition in Marvel’s next TV venture is sure to bring all of the shocking surprises we’re so used to with the MCU. However, as more and more rumors and information circulate, What if…? may well be configured to alter the Universe in ways we’ve never seen before.

Are you excited for What if…? Let us know in the comments!


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