Marvel Studios has a packed slate of blockbuster films and Disney+ series to make up their Phase Four. However, amongst all the grand-scale ensemble productions comes the MCU's biggest risk yet in What If...?
The series will be the first animated project to come out of the studio with many of the MCU's biggest stars returning to voice their iconic roles. The Disney+ animated anthology will explore alternate takes on many of the cinematic universe's characters and films, making major changes to create new creative stories.
One episode will adapt Captain America: The First Avenger, giving Peggy Carter the Super Soldier Serum in place of Steve Rogers, who will instead be equipped with a historical take on the Iron Man suit. It's believed What If...?'s first season will be ten episodes long, however, only a few of these stories have been confirmed so far.
MULTIPLE WHAT IF...? SCENARIOS REVEALED IN CONCEPT LEAK
A leak shared by u/MSSmods on the Marvel Studios Spoilers subreddit has revealed looks at several pieces of concept art from the upcoming What If...? animated show. The images reveal some major plot details for some of the series' alternate reality stories which will put new spins on previous MCU adventures.
Guardians of the Galaxy member Gamora is shown to be wearing Thanos' suit of armor while wielding his iconic blade, suggesting one episode may place her into the shoes of the Mad Titan.
Loki is shown in the concept art to be kitted out in his debut Thor outfit and holding his staff from the film, confirming an episode adapting the 2011 epic, however, the particular alternate scenario is hard to pinpoint.
Meanwhile, another image confirms the return of the android villain Ultron, this time equipped with the Infinity Stones in his chest, revealing he will be more powerful than ever in his MCU return.
One of the odder images reveals the return of Benicio del Toro's The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy, both in his original coat, and a second version flexing some muscles.
Lastly, an unidentifiable male character is shown in one picture to be wearing a Hulkbuster-sized Iron Man suit, seemingly made from Sakaarian scraps. While unconfirmed, the figure in this suit is likely to be Tony Stark, potentially exploring a scenario in which he must compete as a Gladiator on Sakaar like Thor and Hulk previously did.
HOW MANY STORIES DO WE KNOW SO FAR?
What If will feature some of Marvel's weirdest ideas yet from Peggy Carter picking up the iconic vibranium shield, to a Marvel Zombies story in which Captain America will become an undead creature. The most recent trailer showcased Doctor Strange taking on an evil version of himself, in one of the most confusing concepts yet.
Recently deceased Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman will return to voice his role for the last time in multiple episodes of the Disney+ series, including one that will see him take up the mantle of Star-Lord. From the footage shown so far, those four concepts are the only obvious changes that can be clearly identified, leaving six episodes to speculate the stories of.
There are many possible implications of the Sakaarian Iron Man suit shown in the leaked concept art. One could speculate the episode may ask what if Tony landed on Sakaar after falling through the wormhole in The Avengers.
Many Marvel fans were disappointed by the use of Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron, meaning the studio will finally have the opportunity to redeem him in his animated return. His return will likely see the sentient robot villain once again attempt to destroy the world and rebuild it, this time with the help of the Infinity Stones.
Why exactly Gamora would be wearing Thanos' armor is unclear, but one scenario could involve her never meeting the Guardians, instead helping her father complete his villainous plan. Her wielding his weapon and the iconic battle suit would indicate he is dead by this point, but where this episode would take place in the timeline is unclear.
Given that Loki simply has his classic look in the leaked art, this reveals little as to what changes will be made to 2011's Thor. The hardest of the concept images to speculate on showcase the Collector with jacked muscles and kitted out in armor.
The mischievous character has only appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy and a minor role in Avengers: Infinity War before now, so he could potentially be the main antagonist for T'Challa's time as Star-Lord.
Even with this major leak, there are still several episodes with no stories yet attached to them. There are multiple characters confirmed to appear in the series with little known about what roles they may play including Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Kilmongerer, and Thor.
What If...? is set to premiere exclusively on Disney+ this Summer.