As Chauncey explained, the writers went through the history of Marvel, as shown in the MCU, and determined which characters were active during the period explored in the episode. “Then the fun of it was getting to craft a story narratively and then aesthetically that sort of mirrored ’80s action movies.” The key to this was Michael Douglas, who plays the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym. We know from the “Ant-Man” movies that Hank was active as a superhero in the ’80s, so “it was kind of a trip to get to write for a 1980s Michael Douglas movie,” Chauncey added.

The idea of exploring earlier periods of the MCU and seeing how different the heroics were has long been a part of the MCU. Before the MCU’s Disney+ shows, and even before the Netflix Marvel shows, there was “Agent Carter.” The ABC series explored the origins of SHIELD through the eyes of the titular Peggy Carter while also featuring a young Howard Stark. Likewise, the idea of an “Ant-Man” movie centered on Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym has long been in the conversation, with director Peyton Reed teasing it way back in 2015 as a possibility. Thankfully, that idea can live on in animation.

“What If…?” season 2 begins streaming on Disney+ on December 22, 2023.

 What If…? season 2 includes a 1980s-inspired Avengers team featuring Hank Pym and several other older MCU superheroes.  Read More