It might be an animated series, but this summer’s Disney Plus exclusive What If…? is entirely predicated on alternate realities and features almost anyone to have played a major role in a Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster reprising their live-action parts, so the smart money is on the show being viewed as official canon, especially when every non-MCU effort has been shuffled off to the streaming service’s Legacy Collection.
In any case, as a shared universe populated by all-powerful entities, there’s always going to be a debate over who can unequivocally be named as the MCU’s top dog. Kevin Feige initially awarded the title to Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel before changing his mind and declaring Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch as number one, but Thanos was a more than a handful, and there are still the likes of Kang the Conqueror and Galactus waiting in the wings.
However, What If…? producer Brad Winderbaum has now hinted that Jeffrey Wright’s Watcher has a realistic claim for the title, which is hard to disagree with when he’s easily capable of manipulating everything around him without having to do much more than lift a finger.
“He’s a godlike, omnipotent figure who is larger than life. The challenge with a character like that is: How do you make him human? How do you make him relatable? He is mysterious, but he’s also kind of dangerous. You want to know more, and you’re hanging on his every word as he invites you into all these stories.”
Given that so many of the feature film stars are lending their vocal talents to What If…?, there’s no real reason why Wright couldn’t end up playing the Watcher in live-action. After all, he’s a reliable and recognizable name that can lend his distinctive whispered gravitas to even the most mundane of exposition, and it can’t be ruled out that something could already be in the works to see him make the jump to the feature film realm. Either way, the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s continued Disney Plus expansion continues at pace, and What If…? will premiere shortly after Loki wraps up its six-episode run.