Jeffrey Wright has been cast as The Watcher in Marvel's What If...? series. Earlier this year it was rumored that Marvel Studios was developing an animated What If...? series based on the popular comic book line. Now thanks to San Diego Comic-Con, that's been confirmed, and more details on the series are starting to be revealed.
Marvel's What If...? comics began in the 1970s with the comic What If... Spider-Man had Joined the 'Fantastic Four'?. There have since been several installments to the series, but the gist is always the same. Each comic features a hypothetical situation where things didn't pan out the way they did in the mainstream continuity. Because of this, the comics weren't considered canon, and were simply a fun alternative. In early What if...? comics, the narrator was Uatu the Watcher, and it looks like Marvel has found the actor to voice the character for their series.
Not a whole lot is known about Marvel's What If...? just yet, but it was revealed at SDCC that Wright had been hired to voice The Watcher. The Watchers were seen in one of the post-credits scenes for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but this version of the character will be unrelated, since this will be an animated series not within the continuity of the MCU. The series will also bring back 25 actors from previous MCU movies to voice their famous characters.
While What If...? will be released during summer 2021, it isn't the only TV show that Marvel is planning to create for the new streaming service called Disney+. Disney is giving characters like Loki and Hawkeye their own TV shows, and will also have team-up series like WandaVision and Falcon and Winter Soldier. All these shows will tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning Disney and Marvel could now dominate the big screen as well as the streaming service world.
Wright has proven himself as an actor, and including The Watcher is a perfect way to tie the show together since each episode will likely focus on a different "What If...?" scenario. Marvel clearly doesn't plan on fans getting superhero fatigue anytime soon, but What If...? will certainly be a break from the typical MCU movie or TV show. While it isn't an MCU movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse saw massive success, and even won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, so clearly there's a fanbase for animated superhero adventures.