Head writer A.C. Bradley recently spoke to Vanity Fair about scrapped What If? plans that were envisioned. We just got to see What If Captain Carter Were The First Avenger this Wednesday and at one point there was even a plan to bring The Rocketeer into the story. Yup, the non-MCU Rocketeer also owned by Disney. However the director who imagined it was politely told no, by Marvel boss Kevin Feige.
“Kevin was just like, ‘Uh, yeah, no, no, we’re not gonna do that. But I like the drawing!’” said Bryan Andrews.
However there were a lot of other scrapped What If? plans that Bradley was able to detail.
“My idea was, if Steve fell off the train, we would jump forward in time,” Bradley says. The Steve Rogers version of Winter Soldier would not slyly operate in the shadows, but instead aggressively and openly pursue the cause of his new evil overlords.
“Steve Rogers is the kind of man that when he believes something is right, he goes to the ends of the Earth to do it,” Bradley says. “But he actually is not a very good soldier. He doesn’t follow orders.” As we saw over and over again in the movies, Cap follows his own lead. “So if he’s brainwashed by Hydra to believe that Hydra is right, he’s going to go full throttle,” Bradley says. Rather than become a mere agent of that evil organization, he would have ascended to be its commander—Captain Hydra.
Funnily enough if you check my review of What If? Episode 1 above, you’ll see this is the storyline I felt would have worked far better. More’s the pity.
The fun twist is that it would have been Red Skull, who has now been replaced by Captain Hydra,” Bradley says. “They would have had to stop [Rogers] and then make him remember who he really is.”
The result, it never materialized, but it was that idea which won Bradley the job of head writer on What If?
The Young Tony Stark Chronicles
“I always wanted to do a story looking at the relationship between Tony and Howard Stark,” says Bradley. “I’ve always been fascinated by the notion of the sins of the father playing out in the son, and also that age or that moment when a child sees their parent as an actual person, flaws and all, for the first time.”
Her inspiration for this abandoned What If…? story line came from yet another universe, this one a Lucasfilm TV series from the ’90s. “I’m a big fan of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and I’m a huge fan of that first 15 minutes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” she says.
“At the end of the day, Tony Stark is the guy who was never supposed to be the hero, becoming the hero.”
“We had Loki with Thor’s hammer, like Loki was worthy. At first it seems superficial, but how do you get to that point without changing who he is?” Andrews says.
“You’re given a thousand questions to answer. It’s like, Oh, did he stay a Frost Giant? Was Odin not a dick and taught him better? You know what I mean? There are so many aspects of that life you can explore. They didn’t want us to go there because basically they were doing that in the Loki series.”
Makes sense why this would not exactly be the best storyline to cover coming straight after Loki. Loki of course w as a show that revolved around a version of Loki that came from one of these What If? scenarios. What If Loki escaped with the Tesseract? The resulting show was fantastic and integral to the immediate future of the MCU in many ways.
“When you’re given the entire toy store to play with, you start thinking, What do I actually want to write?” she says. “I would love to write something that was darker, that’s a little bit more angsty and horror-based. So I was like, Ooh, what if there was a *Metamorphosis–*meets–Spider-Man story that’s really dark body horror?”
The reaction from Marvel: No.
“It would have been hard-R for a show that probably your kids will end up watching. It was a little too dark. So I was like, Okay, that’s fine. Can I do zombies? And they said yes, you can do zombies. It was definitely Cronenberg. It was definitely me wanting to go real dark,” Bradley says.
Love……. In Spaaaaace!!
“I pitched a big, romantic space-opera episode that was basically The Odyssey but with Pepper and Tony,” Bradley says, adding sarcastically: “Of course, The Odyssey is what really resonates with viewers today. It ended up being too big of a story. And there are so many other aspects of Tony Stark to play with,” Bradley says.
“I would pitch Star Wars characters,” Bradley said. “That was me half the time having a joke, and also just really liking Mark Hamill, having worked with him on Trollhunters. Sometimes you would push the crazy ideas just to see if there was any movement. That was mostly me having a laugh,” Bradley says.
Thank goodness for that. I’m just not sure I could handle an attempt to connect those two franchises together. Other than the fact that the Star Wars franchise exists in the MCU as movies that is.
What do you think of all these scrapped What If? plans? Sound off below as always.