Tom Hiddleston has hinted that upcoming animated Marvel series What If…? is very important to the MCU.
"I am intrigued because I haven't seen the whole thing," he told Jimmy Fallon. "And I know they've got everybody from the Marvel universe to voice their characters... And then it sets up a whole bunch of stuff in the MCU, which I know nothing about."
So far, What If…? has seemed like a series of unrelated multiverse stories that will stand apart from the wider universe. It's surprising, then, to hear that it could be laying the groundwork for future MCU films or TV shows.
What If…? is next up on the Marvel release slate, but won't be the first time we've seen the multiverse in the MCU. WandaVision teased it in a commercial break, then Loki delved into multiple timelines through the TVA and the revelation of the Sacred Timeline. It makes sense that the series will have an impact on the MCU in this sense, then, especially as it releases ahead of Spider-Man 3 – which is expected to feature the multiverse – and Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
The series will include storylines like T'Challa becoming Star-Lord, Peggy Carter stepping up as Captain Carter in World War 2, and Doctor Strange seemingly battling an evil version of himself. Members of the MCU cast reprising their roles include Hiddleston, Chadwick Boseman, Hayley Atwell, Chris Hemsworth, Michael B. Jordan, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson, Karen Gillan, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Michael Douglas, Dominic Cooper, Sean Gunn, Natalie Portman, Taika Waititi, Toby Jones, Jeff Goldblum, Neal McDonough, Djimon Hounsou, and Michael Rooker. That's a lot of familiar voices.
Jeffrey Wright will also narrate the series as the Watcher, who, as his name suggests, keeps an eye on the goings-on of the multiverse. The series will be the actor's MCU debut.
It remains to be seen how exactly What If…? will impact the Marvel universe going forward, but we don't have long to wait, as the first episode premieres this August 11 on Disney Plus. Until then, check out our complete guide to Marvel Phase 4 to get up to speed on what's coming next, and find the best Disney Plus prices and deals.