Friends, yesterday the internet itself threatened to split asunder from the amount of news about the upcoming television series and films revealed in The Walt Disney Co. 2020 Investor Day live stream. I should know because it seemed like every couple of minutes last night there was a brand new announcement – from an FX Alien TV series to the esteemed Patty Jenkins (Monster, Wonder Woman) helming the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron film. We were also gifted with our first looks at Loki as well as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier television series – along with the news of a Fantastic Four film by Jon Watts (Clown, Spider-Man: Far From Home). And that is just a few of the projects that were announced during The Walt Disney Co. 2020 Investor Day event.
It took every ounce of willpower to not just lock myself in the office and start flinging out articles all evening – it might also had something to do with the fact I’m old now and tire easily. Instead I thought I would focus on just one of the new TV shows that I am most looking forward to – that is the Marvel Studios What If…? animated series. Set to release in the Summer of 2021, it will allow us to be guided by Uatu (Jeffrey Wright) through a multiverse where events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe took a different direction – say like during World War II with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) becoming Captain Britain, aided by Steve Rogers in some familiar armor.
I have a long history with the What If…? comic book series by Marvel Comics – my first issue was picked up at a local grocery store – a story entitled What If Steve Rogers Had Refused To Give Up Being Captain America that was originally published in September of 1989. The answer for most of the What If…? books published from 1989 until 1998 – the second What if? series in fact – generally had a very, very dark outcome for the featured character in question. In case you are curious as to how that first issue I picked up ended – Steve Rogers is assassinated, shot in the back of the head, on live television during a rally in his support.
However, during this time there was a little five and dime store that was literally down the street from my home – so I could walk down to it almost every day and for a single dollar I could buy ten comic books. A lot of that collection of back issues included the original 1977 – 1984 run of What If…? – which is how I learned that if Conan the Barbarian was stranded in the 20th Century he would end up dressing like a pimp and get in a brawl with Captain America.
Judging by that first look video for the Disney+ What If…? TV series – during the ten episode run – we are going to be seeing T’Challa become Star-Lord and a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, a possible visit to the Marvel Zombies reality, as well as Dr. Strange facing off against a dark version of himself, to point out a few of the alternate realities that will be featured.
Besides the distinct animation style for the upcoming series, which I am quite enamored with, the really amazing part is the amount of voice talent they have secured for the show. Although you might consider it something of a spoiler – if you take just a moment and look at the IMDb page listing of actors – you have Dominic Cooper, Karen Gillan, Michael Douglas, Jeff Goldblum, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and so many more. While I will point out that the likes of Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Brie Larson, and Benedict Cumberbatch are not listed on the page… I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that they are lending their voices to the characters they played in the Marvel films.
So in closing out this article, will we be lucky enough to get a second season of What If…? – I suppose only Uatu the Watcher knows that answer, right?