Jeffrey Wright Discusses The Watcher’s Role in Marvel’s What If?

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Emmy winner Jeffrey Wright (The Batman, Westworld) is set to play The Watcher in Marvel’s upcoming What If…? series coming to Disney+ later this year. In a recent interview with Disney’s D23 Magazine (via The Direct), Wright spoke about what role The Watcher will serve in the show, and just how it may connect to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

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“In the comics, he’s an observer – and then some,” Wright said when asked about The Watcher. “Here, in the first season, he starts off as an observer, but he gradually becomes more compelled by what he watches.” Wright would go on to say that The Watcher could have way more possibilities when it comes to showing up in future television shows or films. 

“There are infinite possibilities with this series within the MCU. I’m open to all of it,” Wright explained. “One thing I think we’re realizing with Marvel and Kevin Feige’s leadership is that these are broad, broad canvasses they’re painting on. I don’t even try to anticipate, so I’m just open to all of it – as The Watcher would be.”

Most notably, Marvel’s What If…? will feature the late Chadwick Boseman, who was able to reprise his role as T’Challa, also known as the Black Panther, for the show. His episode will revolve around T’Challa being abducted by the Reavers that took Peter Quill (Star-Lord) in The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Every story in the show will be non-canonical, as the stories will feature some wildly different outcomes from their actual events in the MCU. 

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The original What if comic book series debuted in 1977 and 200 issues have been published over time. The stories ranged from implausible scenarios to more humored-filled takes. It’s a great way for Marvel to use the streaming service to tell more out-of-the-box stories unachievable through live-action.