Marvel’s What If…? Wasn’t Allowed To Use X-Men Or Fantastic Four


We’re only two episodes in, but Marvel’s What If…? is already held in high regard by fans of the shared cinematic universe, with both of the installments to date generating a range of talking points thanks to some inventive and ingenious spins on events audiences have already seen unfold on the big screen.

While the premiere largely followed the template set by Captain America: The First Avenger, there was a lot of love for Hayley Atwell’s Captain Carter, and people would be thrilled to see her brought into the live-action realm. Yesterday’s episode may have been a hugely emotional experience hearing Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa following his passing last summer, but as a whole it was a brilliant riff on Guardians of the Galaxy that threw up more than a few surprises.

Given the premise of the show, Marvel’s What If…? can do whatever it wants, spinning the MCU off in a thousand different directions. However, in a recent interview executive producer Brad Winderbaum was asked if he’d ever thought about including the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, revealing that he was told by Marvel it wasn’t an option on the table.

“We had very few parameters when we were ideating the show, but that was certainly one of them. We wanted to make sure that the characters were firmly rooted in the MCU. And that had nothing to do with rights and had nothing to do with the future stories we wanted to tell. It had everything to do with what What If..? is, which is a spin on an established storyline. So we look, primarily, at the Infinity Saga.”

It makes perfect sense, when Kevin Feige’s outfit are in the midst of rebooting both properties, and a soft launch in Marvel’s What If…? would only serve to lessen the impact of both Jon Watts’ Fantastic Four and the X-Men whenever they end up hitting the big screen in brand new form, with the former expected much earlier than the latter. Depending on how long the animated series runs for, though, they could each end up playing a big part in future seasons once they’ve debuted in live-action.