Cast and creators of Marvel's latest series 'What If...?' talk Captain Carter and working with Chadwick Boseman

Producer Brad Winderbaum, director Bryan Andrews, writer A.C. Bradley and star Jeffrey Wright talk new Marvel animated series "What If...?”

Video Transcript

- Who are you?

- The name is Captain Carter.

- So I saw.

KEVIN PALOWY: What drove the decision to open the series with Captain Carter? Why did you guys want to hit everybody with that one first?

BRAD WINDERBAUM: Part of it is that Captain America is the, quote unquote, "first Avenger." It's in the movie title. So it felt natural to start with Captain Carter. But probably, a bigger and more important reason is that we love the character, and we love Hayley Atwell and working with her. And we knew that if given the opportunity to have her reprise the role in this way, she would be really amazing.

A.C. BRADLEY: So my job was to take a step back and go, OK, what's the hell? How do we do this? How do we make her a super soldier? And I was, oh, well, we don't. She already is one. She's already a hero. We're just going to make the outside match the inside. That I can do. And there's a moment in the first Avenger where she's asked to go like, please wait in the booth.

- Agent Carter, don't you think it would be more comfortable in the booth?


A.C. BRADLEY: Well, there is the moment. I get to put the line in, I'm staying in the room. Because when a woman stays in the room, the world changes. And Peggy's a woman who knows her worth and knows that she can do it.

KEVIN PALOWY: What do you think is the boldest, the most ambitious, the craziest, all-reality plotline that you guys have?

BRAD WINDERBAUM: I mean, the most important thing was not just the "what if" but the "then what?" The timeline has to branch. Could you do an episode where all of the Avengers were dinosaurs? But the multiverse is infinite, so we would get into these philosophical conversations about how far we could push it. And there is a lot of opportunity for crazier and wilder ideas, I think.

KEVIN PALOWY: I was asking Brad about the craziest ideas you guys were throwing out there, and he said you guys actually discussed imagining the Avengers as dinosaurs.


A.C. BRADLEY: Oh, yeah.

KEVIN PALOWY: Talk about this. Can I get your vantage points on this?

A.C. BRADLEY: I know "Avengers." This is what happens when you're in a room for 12 hours, and there's no windows. [INAUDIBLE] Up for a while, you start pulling some of classic movies, and be like, what if you're in the "Jurrasic Park?" What if you did this?

KEVIN PALOWY: Showing just how far you guys will go in your boldness, you also bring back Howard the Duck. You even gave him some lines this time. Are you guys redeeming him here? Is that the goal?

BRAD WINDERBAUM: [LAUGHS] I mean, to me, Howard represents how far are we willing to go for the show? And the answer is really far. It's exciting. Seth came back. Seth Green came back and did the voice. He's just a fun character to play with. And just it shows how wild the multiverse but also just the MC you can get.

- I am the Watcher. I observed all that transpires here.

KEVIN PALOWY: What did you find especially intriguing about the Watcher, once you've dug into the character?

JEFFREY WRIGHT: That he was described in 1963 in the Fantastic Four comics as the most dramatic being in all the universe, introducing-- I was like, that was pretty cool. I was like, OK, actors here, dramatic. You go. Oh, yeah, that's sounds great. So there was that, and I also dug that he had these unique powers, and that he was seriously forceful. But also, outside it all is the intriguing set of design schematic for him. So yeah, I was curious.

KEVIN PALOWY: Episode 2 imagines T'Challa as Star Lord. And of course, the series marks the final project that Chadwick Boseman captured footage before he left us. What were your experiences like with Chad on this one? And what does it mean to you guys to be involved in this project, given that significance now?

BRYAN ANDREWS: I mean, Chadwick was an amazing talent. You know what I mean. And just working with all the actors of the MCU, it's just a joy and a privilege. But of course with Chadwick, it takes on special meaning because in light of the events, his passing, which was just terribly tragic. And we got to explore the fact that this amazing individual goes out into the universe and affects change because of who he is. He doesn't get changed. The universe can't change him. He doesn't need any real changing. I think Chadwick saw that it was another opportunity for him to bring a voice to T'Challa and Black Panther which was so important to him.

BRAD WINDERBAUM: Well, we had no idea at the time that it would be his last performance as T'Challa. And he actually appeared in four episodes and played varied versions of the character over the course of the season. He was a real-- I mean, it was amazing to work with him. He treated it with the same amount of depth and consideration as I think he would any performance. It was just such an honor. And then now, realizing that he did it knowing that it could be his last performance is really just so humbling.

JEFFREY WRIGHT: I met him actually at Comic-Con when he was there with Black Panther, and I was there with Westworld season 2 maybe. And we met in the bathroom. And we said, hey, we said hello. And he said some really wonderful things about work that I'd done before that impacted him as an actor. And then, we'd see each other from time to time here and there. I didn't know at that time when we first met how impactful he would be on me as a human. And I was particularly moved by the humility and the dignity with which he endured all of that. Particularly at this time, there's so much crass, narcissism, and selfishness, and self-promotion, and all of that crap. What he did was just a powerful reminder of what's real in the face of all that falseness.