What If…? Producer Confirms Season 1 Will Have Nine Episodes

Animation was the one medium that seemed like it was largely unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak and shutdowns in the last year. But it turns out not even the mighty Marvel machine was immune from the pandemic’s challenges. Although Kevin Feige initially announced that What If…?’s first season would consist of 10 episodes, Marvel Studios’ first animated series will only be rolling out nine installments when the show launches on Disney+ next week. During a recent interview with Collider, executive producer Brad Winderbaum confirmed that the ongoing health crisis is to blame for this minor shakeup.

“We had to push an episode into Season 2,” said Winderbaum. “It was just, honestly, like everything else, that was a COVID impact. There was an episode that just wouldn’t hit the completion date, but luckily we do get to see it in the second season of the show.”

Winderbaum also shared new insight into how the creators settled on a runtime for each of the series’ chapters.

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“We targeted a half an hour for each episode. Some of them come in a little longer, some of them come in a little shorter,” added Winderbaum. “We wanted to tell as many stories as we could and we had a certain budget we had to work with so it felt like that 10-episode — now 9-episode run — was the right quantity.”

Nine episodes may seem like an arbitrary number, but it’s not without precedent. Earlier this year, WandaVision was able to tell its own story in just nine episodes ranging from 30 to 50 minutes. The same can be said of HBO’s Watchmen, although those shows featured more linear narratives.

What If…? will premiere on Wednesday, August 11 on Disney+.

How do you feel about the episode count for the show’s first season? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

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