What If…? Creators Say The Multiverse Doesn’t Lower The MCU’s Stakes

What If Ultron

The creative team behind Marvel’s What If…? would have known full well going in that they weren’t going to please everybody. After all, fans have vociferously backed the cinematic universe for thirteen years and counting, and they’ve never been shy in making it known when something angers them.

Any backlash towards the Disney Plus animated hit has been minor in nature, with the repeated sidelining of Tony Stark drawing some ire, while a lot of longtime supporters are of the belief that the Season 1 finale cheapened the cost of Black Widow’s sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame by parachuting an alternate version of Natasha Romanoff back into a different reality.

In a new interview with Variety, director Bryan Andrews addressed those concerns, explaining why the prospect of infinite timelines featuring countless variants of the same superhero is much more of a blessing than a curse.

“When it comes to the challenge of a multiverse, it’s like, ‘Oh, well, this person’s alive in a thousand different ways in different universes’, and doesn’t that cheapen the stakes? I don’t think so, because you’re only still watching one story at one time, and hopefully we’re doing our job enough where you’re compelled by what these people on the screen are doing at that time, and surprised at what may or may not happen to them.

So, if we’re doing our job and engaging the audience, it shouldn’t matter that there could be some other person that’s alive or dead in some other universe. It’s what’s happening right there in the present, right in front of your face; that adventure. And if you can connect in some way, then awesome. Then it’s always gonna work. And you never know what you’re gonna get, which I think is part of the fun, and that was one of the great things about doing the whole series. We can go dark. We can go into comedy. We can really lean into the genre, which was part of the joy.”

If we were to start breaking down who comes from where in the multiverse, why they need to do this in order to maintain continuity with the live-action movies and TV shows and what happens if they don’t, then you’re only going to end up giving yourself a headache. Marvel’s What If…? is canon, but that doesn’t mean one pocket reality makes another any less important in the grand scheme of things.