We caught up with the Marvel animated series creative team for Disney +: showrunner AC Bradley, director Bryan Andrews and executive producer Brad Winderbaum. The fiction premieres today, Wednesday, August 11, on the platform.
Barely a month has passed since we said goodbye to the first season of Loki -with the confirmation that he would return for a second installment, yes- and we already have new Marvel fiction to enjoy this summer. Unlike its predecessors – the aforementioned only of the character played by Tom Hiddleston, Falcon and the Winter Soldier Y Scarlet Witch and Vision-, the new Disney + bet within the universe of La Casa de las Ideas is about an animated series. Specifically of What would happen if…?, an adaptation of the homonymous comic book series that Marvel has been publishing since the 80s and featuring alternative stories to those known to all through significant changes in the path of the characters.
Ambitious like any other, get ahead What would happen if…? It is the result of years of work, of the creation of multiple stories as a result of the infinite possibilities offered by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. and the arduous process of balancing the agendas of all those involved to ensure that the animated version of the characters was dubbed by the same actor or actress who embodied it for the big screen.
Those in charge of achieving this have been the ‘showrunner’ AC Bradley, who makes his debut at the UCM as the main screenwriter of the project, Bryan Andrews as director, and executive producers Brad Winderbaum, Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito and Victoria Alonso.
On the occasion of the premiere of What would happen if…? SensaCine has shared the opportunity with other media interview Bradley, Andrews and Winderbaum and delve into the ambitious animated series that debuts this Wednesday, August 11 on Disney +.
“The concept of What would happen if…? it was going to be a celebration of the existence of the MCU “, Wanderbaum explains about the series’ early stages of development, when they realized that the creation of these stories could only be done if it was an animated series. “We knew we were going to revisit characters, to revisit worlds, to revisit locations and settings, to revisit objects … And all those kinds of things that would have made it impossible to create the series as a live action series.” And even more impossible, adds the producer, in the case of a project destined to have more than one season: “We have designed a first season of 10 episodes but there are exponentially more characters, more locations and everything else.”
Animation was clearly the means to do it. [Brad Winderbaum, Productor Ejecutivo]
I had not worked in an animated project before, so I was like in the nursery at the beginning of the process, admits, yes, Winderbaum on the personal challenge that it supposed for him to face that it had to be this way. Fortunately, he was surrounded by the right people: “I was able to learn from my colleagues on the project, and from Bryan [Andrews] in particular, how incredible this medium is and that its potential is infinite. ”
11 keys to ‘What if …?’ the series that dares to turn the Marvel Cinematic Universe upside down
Also, another of the issues they had to face in their early stages of development was the difficult task of choosing which stories would be making up the first installment. As previously confirmed, the team had as many as 30 different concepts, while it had only received the green light for the production of 10 episodes. Likewise, the possibility of choosing characters and the different paths that they could take, was also too wide.
“We rarely started with the ‘What if …?’AC Bradley assures about the script process. “We started with the characters.”
My goal is to find the hero’s heart, go after the shield, and see who they really are. Our job is to look at these characters, find what makes them human, and create the story from there. [A.C. Bradley, ‘Showrunner’]
Winderbaum agrees with her: “The ‘What if…?’ It was secondary to “So what?” For each concept we worked on, it was not enough to think: “What a good idea!” It had to have a good journey, a path that challenged these characters in some way and change them dynamically. “
In this sense, the producer finds important similarities with Unknown Dimension, one of the references that have inspired the series: “The idea that choices have consequences is explored. It is the idea that every human being lives on the razor’s edge and that he can go to the right or to the left and change his destiny, and that brings us to a morally precious place that allows us to examine the character: who he is, why he makes those decisions and what impact those decisions have on the world. The good thing here is that we have the foundation, which is the MCU, and we know how it’s supposed to happen. It’s a way of looking at the real impact of the elections. “
Also in the long creative process that involved What would happen if…? the team was clear that they would take advantage of their original concept to take the characters of the MCU to unthinkable places, but, at the same time, knowing the complications of the multiverse that we now have very recent after LokiThey also knew that they wanted to abide by simple rules.
“My job was to keep the rules of the multiverse simple, flexible and locally in a place where I would like to be”explains the ‘showrunner’. “The more rules the writer writes for himself, the more he corners himself as the series progresses.”
For the series we kept some flexible rules. The main notion was: a choice or change, you can create a whole universe. Everything was moved by the characters and not by the rules of the multiverse. I let ‘Loki’ do the hard work
‘What if …?’: Every project within the UCM has an impact on its shared universe
However, even despite its anthological condition that faces alternative stories to the ones we know, the team does not deny, much less, that what is told in them can have an impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
They all tiptoe when talking about this topic, but Bryan Andrews makes it clear: “You have to wait and find out. Marvel has things in mind but we are going to have to wait. It’s going to be great.”
Brad Winderbaum, for his part, develops a little more: “Every project within the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a certain impact on their shared universe. Some have a giant impact. Others have a lesser impact. But, as in real life, every event has an effect that impacts on something greater. But, also like the rest of the UCM projects, it has to be able to support itself and the important thing here are the characters. At the end of the day, connections are important to a fan, but if you don’t care about characters, you don’t care about connections either. We’re trying to build something that has an emotional impact, so when those connections happen it’s going to be exciting to see that journey continue. “
On the other hand, the creative team of the Disney + animated series is aware that the series has a very promising future ahead of it. For now “we are working on a second season of the series,” confirms Winderbaum. “And the potential is very high,” he promises. “It is a concept that allows you to turn and continue in countless directions.”
We will never be able to tell all the stories we want to tell. Even if they gave the green light to 1000 seasons of the series, I think we would not be able to tell all the stories that would emerge. [Brad Winderbaum, Productor Ejecutivo]
“As you can imagine, when our team begins to design the stories they want to tell it becomes a continuous flow of concepts,” he continues. “At a certain point it’s like, ‘Enough! Look what we already have.’ You can revolve around infinite ideas.”
About him I work with the actors who offered their voices to the characters, Bryan Andrews relates that the pandemic made things quite complicated. Before the Covid-19 arrived, “we tried to get them to come and record in our recording studio in London”, but with subsequent limitations they had to adapt to the existing reality and to health regulations and limitations: “Sometimes they did it from their dressing room, because that’s where they had better acoustics. Sometimes they did it from a random house, because they were on another shoot. It was crazy, although we got it. Things were great and everyone did a fantastic job. “
If anyone gives 100%, Chadwick gave 1000%. He was the best [A.C. Bradley, ‘Showrunner’]
Much more special words are those that have been dedicated to Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020, who was able to lend his voice in the episode in which T’Challa appears. “I consider myself very lucky to have written one of Chadwick’s last lines for the MCU,” admits AC Bradley. “All actors care about their characters. They have all played them in numerous movies over the years, but from my point of view, Chadwick Boseman understood the importance of T’Challa and of Black panther better than nobody. He understood how important and vital it is for young people to see themselves reflected in their heroes. Now there is a whole new generation growing up around a black man standing next to Iron Man, Captain America or Thor, on the exact same level and working things out with them. It is very important that that is seen. ”
There are 10 episodes that make up the first season of What would happen if…? and “they are all special in their own way,” Andrews concludes. “They are all impressive and it is difficult to choose one because they are all very strong for unique reasons.” You can see for yourself starting today, Wednesday, August 11, on Disney +.