As cities continue to issue stay-at-home orders across the nation, the Coronavirus pandemic has led to a multitude of delays for film and television production schedules. Marvel Studios recently confirmed updated release dates for their upcoming films, and they also confirmed to have halted production on the live-action shows being produced for Disney+, including The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and WandaVision, with pre-production for these shows being completed remotely. A recent interview, however, has revealed that not every Disney+ show has fully stopped production.
The Head of Animation for the Marvel Studios What If...? series, Stephan Franck, has recently shared with Newsarama that production on the animated series is able to continue remotely. Franck says:
"I normally split my day between my home studio and the Disney lot for dailies and reviews, but now we’re just doing it all remotely...From what I hear across town, animation has been able to keep the shows in production with everyone safely working from home. Kudos to the studios for pivoting so fast to remote work."
When asked about any information on the show itself, Franck responded by saying "I really can't tell you much about the show, or S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are going to come and take me away," ending with "What I can tell you is that the level of talent and passion on the team is off the charts and that I am having a blast."
WHAT THIS MEANS
After all the news of cancelled projects and halted productions, it is good to hear that work on one of the most highly-anticipated Marvel series is continuing on. As the show is able to continue work remotely, there may be a shift in the order that Marvel's original Disney+ content is released. What If...? was originally going to be released after The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki, sometime in mid-2021, but all that may change given that the animated series is the only show that is able to make any progress at the moment.
Regardless of the schedules, Stephan Franck seems to be enjoying his work on the series. Franck has worked as an animator and storyboard artist for films such as Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Iron Giant. His work on the upcoming series will no doubt be something unlike anything else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel has only confirmed or teased a few episode plots, including "What If Peggy Carter was given the Super Soldier Serum?" and "What If T'Challa became Star Lord?", with many actors having been confirmed to be reprising their roles for episodes that will feature a twist on every Marvel Studios film. Even though Marvel is still keeping quite a bit about the show under wraps, from the few bits of information and art released about the episodes' plots, it is evident that the show is truly embracing the weird, limitless potential featured in the original "What If...?" comics.