The beauty of the animated Disney+ Marvel series “What If…?” is that it offers us the possibility to see all sorts of wild and new incarnations of the characters we’ve already come to love. Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) will take up a shield to become Captain Carter, for example, but we’ll also see new versions of characters like Erik Killmonger and Tony Stark (being allies!).
We’ll be seeing new versions of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston). On a scarier note, the apocalyptic world of “Marvel Zombies” will also be introduced. And to top it all off, we will see another hugely important character return in new form during “What if…?,” and that’s T’Challa, the Black Panther himself, as played by the late, great Chadwick Boseman.
Boseman tragically passed away on August 28, 2020, leaving an enormous legacy behind him, but he was able to record his lines for “What If…?” beforehand, meaning the animated series will mark his final performance.
And while there continue to be numerous conversations in regard to how the highly anticipated sequel film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will handle the loss of Boseman and T’Challa, it is at least a source of comfort that the character will appear at least once more.
… or is that more than once, actually? Because according to the minds behind “What If…?,” it turns out we’ll be getting more from him than many fans suspected.
Chadwick Boseman recorded a lot … on purpose
The trailer for Marvel’s “What if…?” series certainly chose to prominently feature Chadwick Boseman, and as it turns out, this wasn’t a decision just made out of respect for one of the most important performers in Marvel’s history — because T’Challa is also going to appear in a lot of episodes.
“He’s in four episodes, actually,” Marvel executive producer Brad Winderbaum said in an interview with ComicBook.com. “He plays different versions of the character. I wouldn’t say that anything changed drastically. We wanted to honor, frankly, his performance and his eagerness to be a part of the project.”
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Perhaps unsurprisingly, it seems as though part of why Boseman is appearing as much as he is in “What if…?” is precisely because he wanted to record as much as he could before his illness caught up with him. “In retrospect, he recorded these episodes for us knowing what we all know now,” added Winderbaum.
“We wanted to honor what he did, so we actually didn’t change a lot of it. There were certain things, in the context of his passing, especially musically … Lauren Karpman delivered what I think is an incredible score for the entire series, and the way she approached T’Challa throughout, especially in light of his passing, is really beautiful.”
“What if…?” will debut on Disney+ on August 11.