While each episode is from Marvel What if is set at different times and space inside MCU’s larger multiverse, the series as a whole is told from the perspective of the Observer — the omniscient, omniscient sworn to observe but never indulge in the things he witnesses. io9 recently had a chance to talk to the voice that brought to life the Marvel Comics celebrity in animation, Jeffrey Wright, to find out what to expect.
Although the observer is What ifnarrator and audience leads through the multiverse, the character has much more than just an ominous presence that literally looms in the background. Unlike WandaVisionis the newly-crowned Scarlet Witch and Loki‘On He Who Remsins’, who both played active roles in their series, is a fairly relaxed observer throughout Disney + animated series. But very similar to Wanda and Kang’s variant, What if‘s Watcher is a fan – a fan of storytelling and people who bring stories to life simply by existing and interacting with each other in unexpected, chaotic ways.
When io9 recently spoke with actor Jeffrey Wright – the star Westworld,, The Batman, and much more – he explained that, although the character always kept a great distance from Marvel’s heroes and villains, “in a way they somehow defined him,“Wright told us. “His life passion is to watch them and connect with them – with their heroism, with their flaws. Without them he is nothing in some way. He adores them and forces them in a way that gives him purpose and gives his life meaning. “
What Loki‘s TVA observed Nexus events that needed to be removed to prevent the emergence of a new multiverse, see Watcher as exciting opportunities for bright futures different from, but fundamentally similar to, the ones he loved. From Wright’s perspective, the observer is a less impartial observer and a more active fan, similar What ifaudience. “In a way, I think the passion is behind the fans’ connection to these characters [comes from] this level of trust, understanding and hope that is imbued with them in a way that may not be beyond this mythology, ”Wright said. “I think the depth of that connection is powerful for fans, but also for Watcher.”
Because Wright’s Watcher isn’t the first to appear in the MCU (see: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), and because What If’s stories are all canon, it stands to reason that the show’s Watcher (Uatu) might pop up in the flesh at some point, especially considering how the multiverse is about to become something of a mess. Though Wright couldn’t say whether there were any discussions of him reprising his role in the future, he also didn’t rule out the possibility. “What If is very much about the idea that all things are possible, so, that’s a reasonable question,” Wright said. “I guess the answer to it is, well, what if?”
What If hits Disney+ on August 11.
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