The Watcher could only live up to his own name for three weeks before he came face-to-face with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange in the fourth episode of Marvel’s What If…?, but he still refused to break his vow and get involved in multiversal affairs, even if it led to the destruction of the entire universe.
Uatu is nothing if not dedicated to the cause, but “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” remains the sole occasion where he’s been directly acknowledged by any of the characters on the show. According to creator and lead writer A.C. Bradley in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, though, that could all be set to change in the future.
“He starts off very distant and literally watching from afar, but for so many of us, Marvel movies have become more than just entertainment. Marvel movies have become more and more of a cultural touchstone and a bigger part of our lexicon, so the notion that, for the Watcher, as he peruses these multiverses, as he lives through these heroes, as he suffers their triumphs and their tragedies, he becomes also more emotionally invested, and therefore becomes more and more part of their world and wants to be more part of their world even though he knows he’s not supposed to.”
If the Season 1 finale builds towards an epic Guardians of the Multiverse crossover as many are predicting, then you’d have to imagine the Watcher may be tempted to get his hands dirty. After all, there’s really no point to him even existing if there’s nothing left to watch over.
Jeffrey Wright has also teased a potential jump into live-action, so it sounds as though the Watcher could become an increasingly integral and important part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Four outside of What If…?, which is shaping up to be the franchise’s busiest and most ambitious period of expansion yet.