The first episode of Marvel’s What If…? made its debut earlier this week, bringing the first animated series officially set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each episode of the series provides a window into alternate takes on the MCU stories and characters that fans know and love, all of which are presented to audiences by a cosmic being named The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright). While The Watcher prides himself on being omnipitent, fans have already begun to speculate that he could interfere in the events of What If…? as the series goes along — and in recent interviews with ComicBook.com‘s Brandon Davis, the cast and crew of the series addressed that possibility.
“Well, I don’t know if it’s necessarily a soft spot, but The Watcher is kind of observing things with an eye on justice or justness balance, I would say,” Wright explained. “He’s observing the behaviors of these characters, but he’s also has one eye on balance, on balance throughout the multiverse. And so I’m not sure if it’s a soft spot, but there are certainly events that he feels maybe throwing off the balance of things. And he becomes compelled and sits up in his chair even more so at those things.”
“Well, how is this? The Watcher, yes, is the omnipotent force overseeing the entire multiverse, but the idea is that he gets more and more curious, more and more invested in these heroes and these characters,” head writer A.C. Bradley echoed. “He starts to follow their losses, and loves, and triumphs. He’s a hardcore fan. And so the idea is that as the show evolves, so does The Watcher. Now, famously in the comic books, he says, ‘I see all, I know all, but I never interfere.’ Well, if we know one thing about the Marvel universe, anything’s possible.”
Bradley previously compared the character’s view of the Marvel universe to the infamous “pizza rat” viral video, especially with regards to observing but not interfering.
“The Watcher is a kind of cosmic character,” Bradley explained in a previous interview. “Someone filmed the rat dragging a slice a pizza across the subway platform. It was on Twitter, Buzzfeed. It went viral. We all watched it. We’re all The Watcher— cheering this rat on, finding it hysterically funny. But we’re not going to get close to this rat or bring him home—it’s a rat.”
“The Watcher views humanity as simple, lowly, disgusting,” Bradley continued. “But at the same time, he’s fascinated by what he’s seeing. And the more he sees, the more his understanding of humanity evolves.”
New episodes of Marvel’s What If…? are set to release on Wednesdays exclusively on Disney+. If you haven’t signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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