From comics ye came, and to comics ye shall return. Marvel Studios will be launching an in-house “animation branch and mini studio,” according to Victoria Alonso, executive VP of film production. Alonso confirmed the company’s commitment to animation during a recent sitdown with Variety’s Marc Malkin during this year’s NALIP Media Summit. An executive producer on recent Marvel hits like “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” Alonso is eager to see what the possibilities of animation could mean for the MCU.
“We’re going to have our animation branch and mini studio, and there will be more to come from that as well,” Alonso said. “We’re super excited about animation, which is my first love.”
The announcement comes ahead of the debut of animated anthology series “What If…?”, the next Marvel show heading to Disney+ in August. “What If…?” reimagines pivotal moments from MCU films to create a new multiverse in which fan favorite characters such as Peggy Carter, T’Challa, Doctor Strange, Killmonger, and Thor collide.
Directed by Marvel storyboard artist Bryan Andrews with A.C. Bradley as head writer, the series was created by an Australian animation company Flying Bark Productions and Canadian outfit Squeeze Animation, neither of which is owned by Marvel. Alonso’s comments seem to indicate that moving forward, all animated projects from Marvel will be produced in house.
The new series features the voice talents of MCU favorites such as Josh Brolin as Thor, Michael B. Jordan as Kilmonger, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. “What If…?” also makes way for new talent to join the MCU, including the addition of Jeffrey Wright as Uatu/The Watcher.
As streaming brings endless possibilities to the MCU, Alonso highlighted the opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of characters who might otherwise remain supporting roles, such as Wanda and Vision.
“When the chance of being a part of this streaming world came about, we were beyond excited because all of a sudden we could actually give the fans far more than 1/4 of a page or three cool moves.”
“What If…?” premieres on Disney+ on August 11.