Marvel Studios kicked off the What If…? animated series with a strong episode exploring a timeline where Peggy Carter received the Super Soldier serum. The first season consists of nine episodes that’ll take a unique perspective on the multiverse. Luckily, there’s also a second season heading our way, but Head Writer A.C. Bradley offered some insight into episodes that were left behidn ont he cutting room floor.
What If….Steve Rogers Joined Hydra
The first idea is one we recently saw realized in the Secret Empire storyline. We are introduced to a version of Captain America that ends up as a minion of Hydra. It seems the idea was on the table, as they wanted to explore a version that became a minion of the evil organization and evne hold the title of Captain Hydra.
My idea was, if Steve fell off the train, we would jump forward in time,” Bradley says. The Steve Rogers version of Winter Soldier would not slyly operate in the shadows, but instead aggressively and openly pursue the cause of his new evil overlords.
The story would’ve had a big twist with former enemy, the Red Skull, joining forces with Peggy, Howard, and Bucky to take down the man that ended up replacing him at the top of Hydra’s food chain. She reveals this was the pitch that got her the job in the first place.
What If … Tony Stark Was Indiana Jones
It looks like Bradley also was curious about the estranged relationship between Tony and his father. At one piont, she considered creating a story inspired by The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. She wanted to explore how their relationship would’ve been shaped throughout the years and show the sparks flying between them.
At the end of the day, Tony Stark is the guy who was never supposed to be the hero, becoming the hero,” she says. The real promise of this alternate storyline might have been showing us who Tony was before he put on the cynicism that became his very first, unseen armor.
What If…Loki Was Worthy
Bradley highlighted that they wanted to avoid giving characters a focus who already are getting their own spin-off series, but there was a fun Loki pitch in the works. At the time of the initial pitch, this rule wasn’t known and showcased Loki wielding Mjolnir. It’s similar to the deleted scene from Thor: The Dark World where Loki imagined himself wieldign the hammer. They’re only concern was that it might change teh character too much from what made him standout.
What If… Spider-Man Turned Into a Spider
We know that Spider-Man will appear as part of the mysterious zombie episode due to his naming as the Zombie Slayer. Yet, it seems they had a much darker story planend for him, as they were inspired by Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis. Yet, it seems a David Cronenberg-esque body horror was too much for Marvel to sign off on. Yet, they said okay to zombies.
If would have been hard-R for a show that probably your kids will end up watching. It was a little too dark. So I was like, okay, that’s fine. Can I do zombies? And they said, yes, you can do zombies
What If…Tony and Pepper Travelled Through Space
It looks like love is in the air, as one of the pitches would’ve seen Tony Stark and Pepper Potts spending their time travelling through space. It seems they wanted to include all kinds of characters with them jokingly including Star Wars characters. Earlier on they also reference taht the original pitch even included Rocketman making an appearance.
I would pitch Star Wars characters. That was me half the time having a joke, and also just really liking Mark Hamill, having worked with him on Trollhunters. Sometimes you would push the crazy ideas just to see if there was any movement.
It seems they truly tested what was possible with Marvel Studios, and the ideas vary quite a bit in fun ways. I think the Cronenberg-inspired story would be a great storyline to explore in the mainline MCU at some point. Captain America turning into a Hydra agent would be a great story to explore, as we got glimpses of a “What If Hydra won” storyline in Agents of SHIELD. Who knows, maybe these ideas get a chance to return with a potential third season.
Source: Vanity Fair