After such a long drought of Marvel content, fans have been able to enjoy quite a fruitful return for Marvel Studios. There are the three successful Disney+ shows in WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki, alongside the successful hybrid debut of Black Widow. And that's only half of the content set to see the light of day this year.
One of the biggest recent story developments came out of Loki's finale, which not only saw the introduction of Kang the Conqueror, but also that of the Multiverse—one of the most stunning visualizations in the MCU to date. This very Multiverse will lead to some epic stories in the form of both Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Of course, that Multiverse also plays a key role in the next Disney+ show, which is none other than What If...? Marvel Studios' first foray into animation seems like it's going to be quite the trip, and provides some awesome stories for longtime MCU fans. The show is also set to introduce one of the MCU's most powerful beings to date: The Watcher.
The man bringing him to life was able to sit down with Entertainment Weekly and talk about portraying the iconic Marvel Comics character, alongside the debut of a brand-new character poster.
THE WATCHER ARRIVES IN MCU POSTER
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jeffrey Wright was on hand to discuss his character The Watcher in What If...? Wright was asked about what kind of conversations he had with the creatives behind the show about voicing this all-powerful character.
The first thing that Wright noted was that there was "a lot of discussion about how does this guy talk?" since The Watcher is an "all-knowing being who has powers... beyond most of the characters... seen [in] the Marvel films."
"There was a lot of discussion about how does this guy talk? How does he sound, this extraterrestrial celestial all-knowing being who has powers in some ways beyond most of the characters that we've seen from the Marvel films? So how does he speak? I wanted to make sure that the tones of the character were new, that they were born of the moment now."
So how did Wright go about finding The Watcher's voice? Well, one of the main inspirations was "some of the visuals that they would show [him]," going off of the "really dense and edgy and cinematic" animation.
"It took us some time to develop the voice and to settle in on something that we all felt good about. That took a bit of time, a little exploration. And then it was just the process of looking at some of the visuals that they would show me, different ideas about what he was, different ideas about the tone of the show because the animation is really dense and edgy and cinematic but at the same time really warm. So that gave me a sense of what we were playing with. And then I would get the scripts and we got to work."
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Wright said that when it comes to what he enjoyed about bringing The Watcher to life, the quote on the cover of Fantastic Four in 1963 did a lot for him, as it described the character "as the most dramatic being in the multiverse."
"He's described as the most dramatic being in all the multiverse when he first appears in Fantastic Four in 1963 on the cover of the comic book, so this idea of the most dramatic being in anyone's imagination gives you a lot to play with. I love the idea of just being able to be theatrical and a little over the top and at the same time kind of subtle with the language. That's always fun."
Alongside the interview, Entertainment and Marvel Studios were able to drop a brand-new look at Jeffrey Wright's character The Watcher, who features on the newly released character poster for Marvel's upcoming show What If...?
WHAT IF THE WATCHER WATCHES...?
It's exciting to be getting The Watcher in the MCU. While it is in animated form, Marvel Studios has made it clear that What If...? is not only canon to the rest of its live-action brethren, but also very important to the cinematic universe at large. Fans shouldn't be surprised if a live-action debut for the character is in the cards in the near future.
Until then, fans will get to know Jeffrey Wright's The Watcher as he narrates What If...?, and guides the audiences through the various alternate MCU tales. There are hints in the trailer that the Prime MCU's Doctor Strange will also be witnessing everything seen by the viewers, which indicates that Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange will know of The Watcher's existence come Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
That film is still a ways off, so until then fans will have to settle for enjoying what What If...? has to offer. Who wouldn't want to watch a timeline where Ultron wins, or T'Challa becomes Star-Lord, or even all of the world's favorite superheroes become zombified? If nothing else, the show seems like one hell of a fun time.
What If...? debuts on August 11, 2021, exclusively on Disney+.