Marvel Studios is making an alternate-universe What If series for Disney Plus

What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four? What if Loki was given the hammer named Mjölnir instead of Thor?

Those are the kinds of stories Marvel Comics’ What If? series explored over the years. It offered a way for comic creators to tell experimental stories that simply couldn’t be told within the confines of the primary Marvel Comics universe. And now those stories are reportedly coming to the Disney Plus streaming platform in an animated anthology series that will feature many of the actors from the Marvel Cinematic Universe reprising their roles.

Initially reported by SlashFilm, Marvel’s What If? animated series will be brought to the screen by Marvel Studios and studio President (and MCU architect) Kevin Feige,. It will tell the sort of alternate-universe tales that made Marvel’s comic book series of the same name popular. According to the report, the reduced time commitment required for an animated series with a rotating cast makes it likely that many of the actors from Marvel’s live-action films and television series will be able to voice their characters for the show.

Although the series will tell stories featuring popular characters voiced by the actors who portray them in the live-action films and TV series, the alternate-universe, anthology format for the series means it won’t be set within the MCU.

As for the stories the series will tell, the report — which remains unconfirmed by Disney or Marvel Studios at this point — indicates that the plot of What If? #47, in which Loki finds Mjölnir instead of Thor, will be adapted for one of the episodes. Many of the other episodes could very well be entirely original stories, likely based on the events that have unfolded in the MCU rather than the Marvel Comics timeline.

Debuting in 1977, Marvel’s What If? series encompasses 11 volumes of stories, as well as multiple stand-alone comics published over the years. In many cases, the stories would begin by describing a well-known series of events from the comics, then explore how things might have turned out if a key moment transpired differently.

With nearly 200 issues spanning four decades of published stories, the What If? series has covered a lot of ground in Marvel’s universe, and in many cases, the stories sought to answer long-held questions from fans, or were aimed at settling arguments over characters’ powers or histories. Some were simply unique, one-off stories, like the popular issue that explored what would happen if Iron Man found himself trapped in the time of King Arthur.

Among the intriguing questions the series explored over the years are “What if Captain America was elected President?” and “What if Spider-Man’s Aunt May had died instead of Uncle Ben?” Other stories explored what might happen if Jessica Jones joined the Avengers, or if Captain America had never disappeared during World War II.

The What If? series joins an already impressive lineup of Marvel Studios live-action series on Disney Plus. Previously announced projects include a Loki miniseries starring MCU veteran Tom Hiddleston, as well as a series focusing on Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and another on Scarlet Witch and Vision.

More information on What If? and other Disney Plus series is expected to be announced during the April investor conference or later in the year when convention season kicks off.

Movies & TV

The Mandalorian snags Taika Waititi as the voice of a classic Star Wars villain

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Business

Captain Marvel continues to soar at the box office with huge second weekend

Captain Marvel blasted into theaters in a big way a week ago, and Marvel's first female-led solo superhero movie is showing no signs of slowing down after a big second week in theaters.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: Aliens, Avengers: Endgame, Charlie Says, and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Charlie Says, Doom: Annihilation, and more.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Movies & TV

MoviePass returns to unlimited movies plan, but with plenty of restrictions

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.
Movies & TV

Want free movie tickets? Beam these ads into your eyeballs for 15 minutes

Would you watch ads for 20 minutes to earn a free movie ticket? MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes bets you will, and he's launching PreShow, a new app with some pretty advanced technology, to prove it.
Movies & TV

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Everything we know so far

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, uses the infamous 1969 Manson Family murders as a backdrop to tell a story set in bohemian Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far.
Movies & TV

New John Wick: Chapter 3 trailer brings gunfights, dogs, and Matrix Easter eggs

A new trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum punctuates the action with a deeper look at the film's star-studded cast, as well as a sly reference to Keanu Reeves' other big action franchise.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Movies & TV

Us review: Jordan Peele makes seeing double singularly terrifying

Jordan Peele follows up his Oscar-winning 2017 thriller Get Out with a more straightforward horror film in Us, but the film's blunt terror succeeds thanks to fantastic performances from the cast and clever storytelling.
Podcasts

Stranger Things 3 trailer, Deadwood movie, Bill and Ted return

On this week's show, we've got a ton of new trailers to discuss, from HBO's Deadwood revival to the first look at Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. We'll also discuss Netflix's interactive TV show starring Bear Grylls and more!