A potentially grim episode featuring Spider-Man in the second season of Marvel’s anthology series “What If…?” was scrapped, with its tone drawing comparisons to the dystopian film “Children of Men”. The dip in the usual light-hearted tone of Marvel productions, however, never saw the light of day due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing delays in production.
Speaking recently to IGN, A.C. Bradley, the head writer and showrunner for the series, shed some light on the abandoned episode, stating, “It felt like the world was already ending and we didn’t need to add to it. And so it became kind of an escape and a fun release. However, I did write an episode, which is forever going in a drawer, that was very, very dark. I was calling it ‘Children of Men with Spider Man.’”.
The Dark and the Scrapped
Despite the excitement of the concept of a darker Spider-Man episode, this innovative venture was abandoned due to the delays caused by the global pandemic. The storyline placed Spider-Man in a post-apocalyptic world, reminiscent of the 2006 Alfonso Cuarón film “Children of Men”, which is set in a world devastated by human infertility leading to the brink of societal collapse. The role of Spider-Man in this desolate situation is as mysterious as the actual crux of the abandoned episode.
A Reinvention of Sorts in Season 2
The second instalment of “What If…?” debuted on Disney+ last month, marking a change in approach towards the storytelling. Bradley and his team were reportedly given more freedom in their creative outlook, with a shift from focusing on mainstream MCU characters to exploring lesser-known “second stringers”.
“With Season 1, there was a push to use the headliners, to do the Tony Stark episode, to do the Black Panther episode and Doctor Strange. But with Season 2, we had a bit more freedom. At the end of the day, we’re not writing the big blockbuster, 100 million dollar movie. We’re not even showrunning the live action TV shows. We’re the scrappy, little animation show slipping under the Marvel machine radar. So, it was really subconscious but I think we veered toward the scrappy characters in Season 2. We started with the second stringers, the undervalued and overlooked, like Nebula (Karen Gillan), Darcy (Kat Dennings), and Hela,”
The improved creative freedom led to exploring different universes in the second season. Some notable examples include “What If… Nebula Joined the Nova Corps?”, “What If… the Avengers Assembled in 1602?”, and “What If… Kahhori Reshaped the World?”, each introducing unique and original MCU characters.
Both seasons of “What If…?” are now available to stream on Disney+. A teaser for the third season has also been released, promising even more exciting alternate realities for fans. If you’re looking to explore more Marvel series or delve into different genres altogether, consider browsing HITPLAY’s curated movie and TV show collections, tailor-made to deliver an immersive experience to viewers like you.