What If…? Showrunner Reveals How She Got the Job

Over the next two years and beyond, Marvel will roll out a slew of new live-action TV series on Disney+. But for many fans, the studio’s most exciting small-screen project in the works is What If…? The series heralds Marvel Studios’ first foray into animation and, like the comic that inspired it, plans to explore alternate outcomes of various MCU events. Guiding the show is Ashley Bradley, a veteran of Guillermo del Toro’s animated Trollhunters series and its follow-up, 3Below. While speaking with Discussing Film, Bradley explained how she landed the gig and how she decided which stories to tell.

Bradley revealed that she had known a few Marvel producers for “almost 10 years.” Apparently, they previously reached out to her about working on a different project, but her 3Below commitments kept her from accepting. Sometime later, she was taking a break from 3Below to recover from an illness when Marvel once again called her in for a meeting.

“So they asked me, ‘How can you do a cartoon?’” recalled Bradley. “I went, ‘Okay unless it starts playing at 3 in the morning you don’t get to call it a cartoon, it’s a prestige animated series.’ I said, ‘you’re doing prestige animation.’”

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“They asked if I knew what What If? is and if I wanted to do it,” continued Bradley. “Now the animation side made sense because you wouldn’t be able to pull off these stories on a live-action budget because every episode is going to be a different exploration of the different aspects of the MCU. I came back two weeks later and pitched a couple of episode ideas to Kevin Feige, he was lovely. It was like [my] second or third time meeting him and then within the next month, I was in an office.”

One of the episodes will deal with a world where Peggy Carter took the Super Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers. It was also one of the hardest scripts for Bradley to write.

“It was just fun and fascinating,” said Bradley. “The idea of writing Peggy kicking ass in WWII wielding the shield was just a pleasure to write. I think it took me two days to start the script because just writing in the words ‘Project Rebirth’ was terrifying. I felt a burden, I have to do right by these characters [and] I have to do right not only by Hayley Atwell, but by the millions of people who have now grown up with the incident with Captain America, with Peggy, and also tell the story.”

What are your first impressions of Marvel’s What If..? series? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

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