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Marvel Studios will waste no time in taking full advantage of Phase 4 when the sophomore season of What If...? eventually lands on Disney+. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly ahead of the show's Season 1 finale (streaming today), head writer and executive producer A.C. Bradley teased "hints of Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Black Widow characters" in the next batch of episodes. Production on the second season is already well underway, though Bradley previously stated that a full episode of the animated anthology can take a year or more to complete.
"The fun of What If...? is that we get to explore the entire infinite multiverse, so we try and bounce around as much as we can," Bradley continued during her conversation with EW. "I want to play with all these characters, and as much as I love Captain Carter, we've got to share the love. I'm very excited to show new worlds, new heroes."
Season 2 will also take a step back from the first season's tendency for nihilism ("big, let's end the world, let's kill everyone," as Bradley put it) in favor of "character stories and these heroes and showing a different side of them that people don't expect and hopefully they can relate to." Who knows? Maybe Tony Stark will actually catch a break and live for once.
Bradey went on to stress that What If...? is only meant to be an exercise in...well, exactly what the title says. As such, viewers shouldn't expect any set-up for the wider continuity of the mainstream Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"We're not a show that's designed to set up Avengers 5," she said. "It's supposed to be just about entertainment and what these heroes mean to us. When I took the job, one of my rules was let's be free. We're in the multiverse — we should be as free as can be and go and run into the wild, into the stories the movies will never do, into the stories the TV shows will never do, and show both Disney and the fans all the possibilities of these characters."
The entire first season of Marvel Studios' What If...? is now available to stream on Disney+. Eternals will close out the MCU's 2021 release docket (at least in terms of strict Disney productions) when it arrives in theaters on Friday, Nov. 5.