The Marvel Cinematic Universe is exploring new avenues in Disney+’s forthcoming series What If…?.
The animated project which sees many well-known favorites such as Loki‘s Tom Hiddleston, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s Sebastian Stan, Black Panther‘s Chadwick Boseman, and more reprise their roles through voice work is welcoming a new character to the mix: Westworld‘s Jeffrey Wright is The Watcher, an observer who shares familiar stories with unfamiliar paths.
“He’s of the world, but he’s not of it,” Wright tells TV Insider. “He’s outside of it, and he has powers that are unique to him.” For the actor who has appeared in several hit films and shows over the years (he’s poised to appear in DC’s The Batman alongside Robert Pattinson), “it was an easy invitation to accept,” he says.
“The opportunity to do this series and to play him through my voice was also attractive to me,” Wright admits. “I kind of look at it like a musician looks at a recording session. I get the chance to play the music of the script with my voice.”
His recognizable vocals paint a picture that is aided by the show’s gorgeous animation which Wright reveals “has a comic book quality to it.” The imagery and voice work help weave a new set of stories that will have viewers see the MCU in a whole new way. “The stories that we’re seeing now contradict what we’ve seen in the past,” the actor notes. “So he’s reliable,” he adds of his character The Watcher, “but his nature is entirely unreliable because we don’t know what’s coming next.
Among some of the concepts explored in the show’s first few episodes is the idea of what if Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) was the first Super Soldier? or what if T’Challa (Boseman) was Star-Lord instead of Peter Quill? It’s a concept that excites Wright who describes The Watcher as “an observer and a caretaker to the balance within the multiverse.”
The multiverse is a concept that will continue to evolve as Phase 4 of the MCU unfolds, especially now that it’s been broken open following the finale of Loki. The endless possibilities allow for a multitude of stories that What If..? is illustrating.
“I think fans have already been writing their own What if…? narratives based on what they’ve seen of the movies,” says Wright. “Everybody imagines various scenarios that veer away from what actually exists in the films. And so I think fans can expect a degree of satisfaction that some of those impulses will finally be brought to fruition through this series.”
“This is the beginning,” Wright says. “I think it’s going to be deeply satisfying for people.” Don’t miss the extraordinary stories for yourself when What If…? arrives on Disney+.
What If…?, Series Premiere, Wednesday, August 11, Disney+