Jeff Goldblum Confirmed for What If Season 2 (And 5 More Things We Learned)
The future of Marvel animation is here.
We may only be getting one Marvel movie in 2024, but Marvel’s animated slate is looking more bountiful than ever. A press event on Monday ahead of What If...? Season 2 delivered not only a screening of the animated anthology’s first two episodes, but also a sizzle reel highlighting what’s ahead for the world of Marvel animation. In short, it’s a lot, as Marvel is looking to make animation a major part of the MCU’s strategy going forward.
Here’s everything you need to know about Marvel animated future, from the small tweaks to the monumental shifts.
6. What If...? Season 2 Will Feature a Noir and a Christmas Episode
The first two episodes of What If...? Season 2 are “What If Nebula Joined the Nova Corps?,” a film-noir-inspired detective story, and “What If Happy Hogan Saved Christmas?,” a holiday-themed episode centered around Jon Favreau’s MCU character as he proves himself during an attack on the Avengers Tower holiday party.
In a Q&A after the screening, writer and executive producer A.C. Bradley revealed an unlikely Christmas movie inspired Happy Hogan’s Die Hard-esque adventures. “We started looking at [Favreau’s] amazing movies,” she said. “We even have a little mention of The Chef Show in there. We were looking at Elf. We can’t do Elf, so let’s do Die Hard, which is my favorite movie from childhood.”
Bradley also teased Kat Dennings reprising her role as Darcy Lewis, so all the sidekicks are returning for this one.
5. An Unlikely Shang-Chi Character Becomes A Hero
When asked about the appearance of the Ten Rings in the What If...? Season 2 trailer, director and executive producer Bryan Andrews revealed that’s not Shang-Chi wielding them. “He is technically not in that particular episode. The color of the rings [is different]. So it’s not Shang-Chi, it’s his dad.”
There’s still no confirmation on whether Tony Leung will reprise the role of Xu Wenwu, but it will be fun to see the character reappear. And speaking of returning actors...
4. Four Huge Stars Are Reprising Their Roles
The What If...? Season 2 trailer hinted at the return of Hela from Thor: Ragnarok, and the Q&A confirmed she would be voiced by her original actress, Cate Blanchett. Furthermore, the Hank Pym we hear in the trailer is voiced by Michael Douglas, Jeff Goldblum returns as the Grandmaster for a racing-themed episode, and even Sam Rockwell reprises his Iron Man 2 role of Justin Hammer in the Christmas episode. With just the one movie in 2024, Marvel is definitely stepping up the star power of its animation.
3. One What If...? Episode Will Be Entirely Subtitled
Andrews revealed that one episode in What If...? Season 2 had an especially ambitious premise. “What bigger ‘what if’ is there than what if colonialization didn’t happen? What if the Europeans didn’t come here?” he said. Based on that premise, an episode will follow a new character, Kahhori, and is entirely in Mohawk.
“We’re showing it to the First Nations, to the various Mohawk tribes that are all around the area like Montreal and the east coast,” Andrews said. “They’re coming together and we’re showing it to them before it airs, and hundreds of members of the First Nations tribal community are showing up with family because it’s all in their language.”
2. Spider-Man’s Animated Series Has a New Title
Way back in November 2021, Marvel announced Peter Parker would star in an animated series following his high school days, Spider-Man: Freshman Year. There’s been little word since, but in Marvel’s animation sizzle reel, the series was teased and given a shiny new title: Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. Maybe this means Parker’s adventures won’t be limited to just the ninth grade.
1. Eyes of Wakanda Is Coming to Disney+
Finally, Marvel announced a new animated series called Eyes of Wakanda. Here’s Marvel.com’s description: “Throughout Wakandan history, brave warriors have been tasked to travel the world retrieving dangerous vibranium artifacts. This is their story.”
That’s a broad premise that could go in a lot of different directions. While we still just have the one animated MCU series for now, it’s clear Marvel has grand designs for the genre in 2024.