If you are creating a new series based on the colossal and successful media franchise Marvel Cinematic Universe or MCU, how can you find out if you are doing the right thing?
What if… you invested your time and effort on a particular idea but it turned out that it is very similar to someone else’s work, what would you do? Even if you think your idea is original, you don’t want to commit plagiarism of all the crimes.
That’s exactly the dilemma of the What If…? anthology series for Disney+ writer A.C. Bradley and director Bryan Andrews as they develop the series that is based on the congruent comic book series. Read on below as we did a straits times exclusive article about the ‘incident’.
Still on the Right Track
A.C. Bradley said, “I pitched an entire episode. It took me a couple of days to break it. I was very excited about it. I went to Bryan [Andrews, director] and was like, here we go, this is what happens, do you think Kevin Feige would approve? He went, oh, yeah, Kevin would love that, that’s half the plot of Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 3.”
“I was like, you’re kidding, and he went, nope, good job, you guessed it. I was getting ready to go home and crack open a beer and go, I’ll go back to the board tomorrow. So, that one I can’t do because the amazing James Gunn is already going to do it.”
The incident also serves as an indicator that the creative team is on the right track, which meant that the past couple of years developing the series wouldn’t be in vain.
An Anthology Series
What If…? is an anthology series with each episode is stand-alone and has its own different stories and genres. However, the main synopsis of the series is about the Marvel superheroes we have seen in the previous MCU films from the Infinity Saga as they embark on a journey to different scenarios and possibilities based on the previous events that we have already seen.
The animated anthology will also directly tie into the season one finale of the Loki series, in which Sylvie freed the Sacred Timeline and burst into multiple branches and realities which made variants and alternate realities possible in the next events of Phase Four of the MCU.
“In each story, we wanted to play with genre and tone. As a writer, it was such a gift to be able to stretch my talents and abilities to make every episode stand-alone.
“We wanted everything to feel visually different, we want people to drop in on each of these episodes and feel like they’re watching one short Marvel movie.”
“We have a spy thriller, a party episode, there’s a comedy, there’s heart, there’s a mystery. You guys got to see one of my favorite episodes, which is basically a heist episode so it was a real treat to play around with different genres and tones and styles,” said A.C. Bradley in an interview.
The anthology is the fourth Disney+ series in Marvel’s Phase Four, following WandaVision, The Falcon, and the Winter Soldier and Loki. What If…? is also Marvel Studios’ first animated series. It also has the privilege of having an ensemble cast composed of the majority of the original actors from the previous MCU films voicing their characters in the series.
The series comprises ten episodes, each chronicling the different branches of realities of the events from the previous MCU films, and it is narrated by The Watcher, voiced by Jeffrey Wright. Despite being an animated series, it is expected to have the same quality as the films and the previous Disney+ series because it also has a big budget.
What If…? is definitely an exemplary series and it will serve as an appetizer as we wait for the more major titles to come out like Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, Eternals, Spider-Man: No Way Home and the much-anticipated movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Other series coming out in Disney+ are Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk.