What if a British agent got into the machine that turned Steve Rogers into the great Captain America? What if T’Challa is kidnapped by aliens and prevented from assuming the throne of Wakanda? Or if Iron Man turns into a brain-eating zombie?
These and other questions are answered by “What if…?” , The fourth series of the so-called Marvel Cinematographic Universe, the MCU, which premieres this week on Disney+. As the name suggests – which has not been translated into Portuguese – the animation plays with what would have happened to the studio’s heroes if their stories had taken different paths.
The MCU’s first animated production, the anthology series, features in each episode new versions of superheroes already popular with audiences, seeking inspiration in the monolithic comics released in the 1970s.
But are these new plots just remote possibilities or do they already exist and run simultaneously with what we’ve seen in the last years of Marvel in theaters? As per the direction of the studio’s other films and series, “What if…?” It feels more like a feast of parallel facts than a simple exercise in creativity.
idea that The Marvel Cinematic Universe will expand and become a cinematic multi-universe It aired for a while, especially after that Animation “Spider-Man on the Spiderverse” Open that door.
Academy Award winner, this feature follows Miles Morales, one of the identities of the spider hero, as she tries to close a portal that connects several alternate realities – in one of them, Spider-Man is a woman, for example.
Early in 2019, the live version of the character, played by Tom Holland, was also tolerating this idea, by including The last moments of “Spider-Man: Away from Home” The appearance of John Jonah Jameson, the journalist played by J.K. Simmons in the spider films of the 2000s – when Tobey Maguire played the protagonist.
Furthermore, there is the fact that Alfred Molina, the actor who played the villain Doctor Octopus in the Maguire era, has been confirmed to appear in “Spider-Man: No Homecoming”, scheduled for release in December. Fans were quick to theorize that all Arachnid films ever made would converge on screen, with different versions of the same character acting the opposite.
“What If…? We’ll see parallel facts intersecting in the company’s films and series,” says episode director Brian Andrews.
In fact, in the comics it is common to have different versions of the same hero, and on several occasions there are different lines on the pages. On screen, it wasn’t just Spider-Man Networks that left traces of these ambitious plans.
Since buying Fox in 2017Disney has at its disposal a series of Marvel characters with rights that previously belonged to the rival studio – and thus cannot appear on the MCU. They are, in particular, the members of the Fantastic Four, who are lining up to win a new movie, and X-Men.
Hugh Jackman, this week, gave a definite answer that he’s not coming back The role of Wolverine in theaters. But he’s been posting pictures alongside Kevin Feige, an MCU producer and engineer, and not quite closing the door at guest appearances. In this way, it is possible to meet in the future different versions of the mutant with metal claws.
The idea that the same character can reproduce and survive in different novels has become more and more realistic in the past month, with the end of “Loki” series, also from Disney +. In it, we find a guardian who oversees the entire universe where the Marvel movies are set, ensuring that no alternate timelines are created – only that he is killed.
Oddly enough, the series’ creator is a screenwriter for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” – something like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – set to start next year. It is also responsible for ensuring the smooth running of our reality, Benedict Cumberbatch Champion It has enough power to branch out from the MCU stories we’ve been following for a few years now.
Amid this tangle of characters, settings, years and universes, however, is a common concern for many fans on social media – could Marvel lose its grip on this seemingly endless expansion of its stories?
Brian Andrews, Director of “What If…?” , did not believe. According to him, Kevin Feige’s plans are under control. “The love we have for these characters and willingness to see what they will put themselves in motivates us to go back to these stories,” he says of the possibility of not saying goodbye to people like Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Natasha Romanov —The other two, Iron Man and Black Widow, Killed in Avengers: Ultimatum.
“what if …?” After all, he is nothing more than an inexhaustible source of the possibilities for these and other characters to survive on screen. The problem to be faced, now, is the risk of the MCU becoming airtight – it only takes a step outside the teenage and young age group to notice that a portion of the audience can no longer keep up with all of this.
We’re talking, after all, about a franchise that will release dozens of titles, including movies and series, this year alone. If such stories, with all the heroes living in the same reality, are hard to follow in the same present moment, think what it would be like to create a complex multiverse.
Amidst so many narrative lines, a parallel reality may emerge in which the MCU is no longer mainstream and has become a niche product – but only time will tell if Feige really knows what he’s doing.
“Award-winning zombie guru. Entrepreneur. Incurable tv aficionado. Web scholar. Coffee advocate. Total internet lover. Bacon expert.”