In the wake of the multiverse-waking events of Loki’s series finale, What If…? premiered on Disney+ this Wednesday and if the series has you asking, “What if… there were more Marvel animated series?”, don’t worry — you’ll be getting your answer soon enough.
In an interview published the same day as the new Marvel animated series’ premiere, What If…? executive producer Brad Winderbaum told Variety that there are more Marvel Studios animated projects on the way. Winderbaum said Marvel Studios has “multiple” of these series “in various phases of development” for Disney+. Along with Season 2 of What If…? already being in production, Winderbaum confirmed a series of “photo-real” Baby Groot animated shorts is also on its way.
Winderbaum did not mention what other series could be brewing, but he did give an indication as to what fans should expect. He explained that rather than just taking existing live-action Marvel franchises and giving them an animated makeover, the only new Marvel animated series on their way are those that “need to be animated in order for the story to be told.” He also clarified there are currently no plans for animated features.
We do have some indications as to what a couple of the “multiple” series in development could be. In July we learned from one of our trusted and proven insiders that a new Marvel animated series was in the works, along with getting some plot details. Rather than pulling from the comics, the series will be led by all-new characters including a girl, her brother, and some kind of AI companion. The kid superhero team Power Pack is set to appear, as well as the young genius Amadeus Cho. Cho is famous for becoming the “Totally Awesome” Hulk as part of Marvel Comics’ 2015 “All-New, All-Different” relaunch. He’s since had his powers dialed back a bit, though he’s still green and has rebranded himself as Brawn.
Another possibility is that Marvel Studios is finally working on the long-hoped-for X-Men: The Animated Series revival. Running from 1992-97, X-Men: The Animated Series was a popular Marvel animated property that introduced a lot of fans not only to the X-Men, but to the Marvel Universe as a whole. However, considering as of February Larry Houston — one of the ’90s show’s producers — had heard nothing about a revival, if one is ever on the way, then it likely just entered development in the last six months.
As for what other series Winderbaum might be referring to, we can only speculate. One possibility is that we’ll be seeing Marvel animated shows about comic book heroes originally meant to mirror cartoon characters. The first possibility to spring to mind is Howard the Duck who — while making cameos in Marvel Cinematic Universe films — has yet to get his own MCU film or series, though Lea Thompson told The Hollywood Reporter in July that she pitched a Howard the Duck reboot to Marvel. Then there’s the goofy, mallet-wielding character Slapstick, who Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation) told Nerdist in February he’d love the chance to play.
Yet another potential concept ripe for Marvel animated treatment could — as opposed to one-off What If…? stories — alternate realities culled from Marvel’s comics popular enough to maintain entire lines of stories. For example in 1992, Marvel Comics launched their “2099” stories. Set in that eponymous future year, Marvel artists and writers came up with futuristic versions of Spider-Man, the Hulk, Ghost Rider, the Punisher, the X-Men, and more. In fact, if you saw 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — as long as you didn’t leave before the credits finished — you’ve met one of these heroes. Miguel O’Hara, Spider-Man 2099, makes a cameo in a post-credits scene.