Marvel Actor Reveals Why Doctor Strange's What If Episode Is So Important To the Show

By Russ Milheim Posted:
What If, Marvel, MCU, Doctor Strange

The next show on Marvel Studios' streaming docket is What If...?, which arrives on Disney+ on August 11. The show is set to explore alternate timelines where critical moments in the MCU's past play out completely differently. One even ends up starting a zombie apocalypse.

It definitely seems like a fun playground for Marvel, who can do anything their heart desires when it comes to finding stories for the episode. Thanks to Loki, alternate timelines are now possible, which in turn means that all of these stories have the ability to cross over with the mainline MCU in the future. It seems that trend may already be starting when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives in theaters next March.

One of the characters from the show that is bound to show up in live-action at some point is Jeffrey Wright's Uatu The Watcher. Uatu is a cosmic level being whose purpose is to simply watch and observe major events and happenings in the universe. He's too important not to crossover at some point. 

With the show's arrival just around the corner, Jeffrey Wright was able to sit down and talk about the character's debut, and some of his thoughts on the various episodes.


Doctor Strange What If

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jeffrey Wright was on deck to talk about his character The Watcher from Marvel's upcoming show What If..?. In the interview, Wright mentioned how he was "really taken by the Doctor Strange episode," and that both he and The Watcher "kind of see things from a similar perspective."

"I was really taken by the Doctor Strange episode, which you will see when you get there. For some reason, it just really pulled at my emotions. [Laughs] And as well, it becomes a story of interest to The Watcher too, so in that way, we kind of see things from a similar perspective. So yeah, check out the Doctor Strange one when it comes. When you land on that one, you'll land in a place where I sat up even further in my seat."

Wright echoed his sentiments in a separate interview with ET Online, noting that the Doctor Strange episode "hit... very central to [him]," but that he was also excited to see Chadwick's T'Challa episode.

"Well, I haven't seen everything just yet. I'm excited for them to see that episode with Chadwick. And personally, I was blown over by the Doctor Strange episode, which just hit me like somewhere very central to me. As well, The Watcher takes a very peculiar interest in that story too. He and I have a common perspective on certain things. It's got all of the magic and it's got all of the colors and the excitement, but there's a moral thread to it and lessons to be learned within that I found really riveting and relevant."

Seeing that The Watcher takes a particular interest in Doctor Strange, will the character eventually break his oath to never interfere? Wright defended The Watcher, saying "He's doing his best," but that "there are forces that pull us back in," but that in the end, "we'll see."

"Are you going to make The Watcher out to be a liar right out of the gate? [Laughs] He's doing his best! I kind of understand that. He's looking at humans and he's looking at these other than human characters, he's watching everything they do and he's kind of making the decision, 'I'd rather just lay back and stay out of all that mess.' I understand that, but then at the same time, there are forces that pull us back in. So, we'll see. We'll see."


The episode that Jeffrey Wright is a huge fan of is likely to be the very same one that sees Doctor Strange go down a dark path after tragedy strikes. That Stephen Strange seems to eventually go by Doctor Strange Supreme—he looks to have taken notes from Kaecillius. 

As for Wright's character, it's fairly obvious that at some point Uatu is going to end up interfering; something not new to the character. The Watcher has become involved countless times in the comics, including having helped groups such as the Fantastic Four.

As for his role to play in the larger MCU, that remains unseen. Maybe he will be the one to warn our MCU heroes of their next impending threat. If not that of Kang the Conqueror, maybe something like Galactus' arrival. Though, generally, that job is reserved for The Silver Surfer.

Either way, don't expect What If...? to be the character's only appearance. It's not a matter of if he will show up elsewhere, but rather when. It certainly won't be for a casual conversation, so when Uatu makes his entrance, it only means bad times ahead.

- In This Article: What If...? (Season 2)
Release Date
December 22, 2023
Jeffrey Wright
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.