Marvel's What If Season 2 Historic Release Date Decision Explained by Director

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Supreme Strange, Captain Carter, Marvel Studios logo

What If…? Season 2 won't release like any other MCU series before it.

The first season of the show was released back in 2021. At the time, new episodes debuted weekly—starting with Captain Carter's origin and running until Infinity Ultron was defeated.

Two years later, Season 2 is here. However, instead of a weekly release schedule, new episodes will debut daily starting on December 22.

What If...?'s Historic Release Decision Explained

Thor in What If...? Season 2
Marvel Studios

The Direct attended a Q&A panel for Disney's What If...? Season 2, during which the creative team behind the series spoke about the decision to release new episodes of the series every day, which is a first for a Marvel Studios series.

When asked about the unprecedented move, executive producer Bryan Andrews admitted he does not know how the powers that be (Brad Winderbaum and Dana Vasquez-Eberhardt) thought of the idea:

"Well, I mean, you know, Brad [Winderbaum] and Dana [Vasquez-Eberhardt], were off somewhere concocting the magical-ness of how to release these things. We were busy just like, 'We're working. When is it coming out? We don't know We don't know. And so somehow they stumbled upon this or was their grandpa, I don't know how they did it."

"The reactions [to the idea] have been so positive," Andrews continued, comparing the ground-breaking release schedule to being "like every day you get a brand new gift:

"But they said, 'Hey, we're gonna do it like [one a day over nine days]... But it seems like it could be a fantastic thing. And once the trailer was out and it was announced some of the reactions have been so positive. It's right during the holidays; it's like every day you get a brand new gift. It's pretty cool. I think it's gonna do well."

Here's when every episode of What If...? Season 2 will release:

  • Friday, December 22 - Episode 1
  • Saturday, December 23 - Episode 2
  • Sunday, December 24 (Christmas Eve) - Episode 3
  • Monday, December 25 (Christmas Day) - Episode 4
  • Tuesday, December 26 (Boxing Day) - Episode 5
  • Wednesday, December 27 - Episode 6
  • Thursday, December 28 - Episode 7
  • Friday, December 29 - Episode 8
  • Saturday, December 30 - Episode 9

Interestingly enough, while it has been two years since Season 1 premiered, according to Andrews, "there was no break" between the seasons for the team, as they "just barrel[ed]" into what came next:

"... It's funny, there was no break. I think our team can attest to that. We just barrel on into the next thing... It takes a while for them to finally come out. So yeah, we might learn some things along the way production-wise to maybe, 'We should try this, we should try that. But story-wise, it was always just us sitting in a room and nerding out and like what [Matthew Chauncey] said, getting the action figures out and just playing."

The producer shared that the team "had so many great ideas in the first round for the first season" with some carrying "right on over" for season 2:

"We had so many great ideas in the first round for the first season. And there's only so many episodes you can make. But there were all these extra ones that Kevin and Brad were just like, 'These are all amazing.' So some of those carried on right on over. We didn't get to do them for season one, but we've made some for Season 2, and then some of that still continues on."

Andrews explained, that as the show gets further along, the concepts for each episode "move slightly away from some of the MCU movies:"

"You learn a little stuff along the way. But for the most part, it's just been full steam ahead. I think as it progresses, we get to move slightly away from some of the MCU movies. Like, we know, these are the characters, and here's something we're riffing on. But we can get a little bit wilder as the seasons progressed. I think we see that in Season 2. Things get crazy."

The conversation pivoted to all the returning characters in Season 2, one of which will be The Watcher and another Captain Carter.

Writer Matthew Chauncey teased how The Watcher, in particular, "is going to reckon with some of the choices that he made in Season 1:"

"We've seen Captain Carter in the trailer. I think The Watcher and her--fate has kind of made both of them sort of lone warriors. I think part of the fun of watching their journey throughout the show is they're kind of mirrors of one another. And I think The Watcher is going to reckon with some of the choices that he made in Season 1 through how he engages and watches Captain Carter navigate her life in these episodes, which is cool."

Experimenting with Marvel Studios' Disney+ Releases

The release method for What If…? Season 2 is certainly a unique choice by Disney and Marvel Studios. Hopefully, it will keep the project alive in pop culture conversations over the holidays.

Perhaps Marvel feels that What If…? might not have the drive to keep the hype alive every week, but it could easily stay at the forefront of the collective world’s mind as a daily event over nine festive days.

What If…?’s daily drop is not the only unique release model from Marvel Studios these days. The upcoming Echo Disney+ series will be dropping all of its first season at once on January 10.

While Disney+ still seems to enjoy the standard weekly release for most of its projects, fans no doubt appreciate a little deviation from the usual.

What If…? Season 2 starts airing on December 22 with new episodes daily, only on Disney+.

- 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.