Like all good superhero fans, I’m a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (henceforth MCU). And like all MCU fans, I was ecstatic to see that they were coming out with a show called What If…? I was even more excited when What If…? actually premiered on Disney+! I watched it. Loved it. The animation style was gorgeous and the story was incredibly fun. But, like most other fans of the MCU, I started wondering if the What If…? series is going to be canon and fit into the larger MCU. I mean, it’s pretty obvious there is going to be some craziness going on with the upcoming MCU movies. It was already proven in Avengers: Endgame that there will be some crossover from these different universes, as well as having some time travel potential to bring back different people from the past and potentially more super-powered people from the future.
Then Loki showed us alternate versions of the same character! And don’t even get me started on the insanity that can come from crossing over with the Fox Marvel movies and the Disney ones. This already even kind of happened in Wandavision (which was fantastic and I think you should watch it if you haven’t yet). Shoot! They could even bring in the Netflix Marvel characters! I need the Punisher to square off with Bucky so bad it hurts. It’s been proven that Marvel can do some crazy things. I think the key has been having a single person at the helm to maintain the coherence of it all.
This point is further proven by the issues that have come up with the DC movies. It’s pushed EVEN FURTHER with the incessant studio involvement that Warner Bros. continues to do despite all their involvement leading to worse movies. Case and point being the Snyder cut getting so much better reviews than the original studio cut of Justice League. Now to get off my high horse and get back to the original point of Marvel’s What If…? series being a part of the bigger MCU. To sum it up: for right now, we just don’t know if What If…? is going to be a part of the larger MCU or not. Sorry to frustrate you with that answer, but it’s just where we are at right now with the show. My theory though is that it ABSOLUTELY is a part of the larger MCU.
It just makes sense.
Everything that has come out since the MCU started has played into the current film iteration we’ve seen. So, why would they start creating something that would be separate now? Now you want my proof for my theory to be furthered. Don’t worry, I got you covered. Let’s take a look at the voice casting for the show. EW has a very nice outline here that shows a TON of people are returning to this series. I mean, the first episode had Peggy Carter star, and guess who voiced her? That’s right. Hayley Atwell is back in the role! This, along with the other returning cast members, leads to the theory that they could all come back to play a role in the movies.
Let’s take this a step further in a way that I think kind of confirms it.
In the comic books, there is Uatu the Watcher. He is supposed to watch the earth and make sure the timeline is going according to plan. In those comics, he does just that…until he doesn’t. He grows fond of earthlings and interferes. In the intro to What If…? the opening character claims to be “The Watcher.” It’s not confirmed that is who this “The Watcher” is, but it’s also a pretty safe bet that this Watcher is Uatu. We all remember Stan Lee and his crucial role in the inception of Marvel in general. But he continued this legacy by making tiny cameos in all the films up until his passing. What wasn’t really confirmed until his last appearance is that he is actually the Watcher Informant. He shows up in all the movies to collect information and relay it to the Watchers.
This is a comic accurate character that now has a huge role in the MCU itself. I feel like you can connect the dots here, but what I’m saying is if The Watcher Informant exists, and The Watcher exists, AND multiple timelines and universes exist. It only makes sense that this will come back to play a bigger role in the entirety of the MCU. The most exciting (and annoying because we have to wait) aspect of this theory is that we get to watch it all unfold with the huge universe that is being developed by Disney and Marvel.