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Here's How COVID-19 Impacted Marvel's What If...?

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic is still significantly impacting the film industry, as projects suffer delays and distribution strategies change as companies try to work around empty movie theatres. Major Marvel projects like "Black Widow" have had their release delayed, and even smaller-scale efforts like the animated "What If...?" series have been affected by the crisis.

"What If...?" is the next MCU series premiering on Disney+, hot on the heels of the streaming service's record-setting finale of "Loki." The animated series draws inspiration from every corner of the MCU and pulls storylines from the "What If" Marvel comics debuted in the 1970s. While not every A-list actor will return to play their iconic characters, plenty of huge names do appear, including the late Chadwick Boseman, who recorded lines for an alternate reality representation of T'Challa.

However, despite all the work the huge cast and crew of "What If...?" put into creating the show, it seems like not quite everything came together quite in time. While fans will still watch the show at the promised premiere date of August 11, 2021, it looks like there will be a little less show than initially promised. Here is how COVID-19 affected the production of "What if...?"

Season 1 of What If...? will be missing an episode

When it was announced that "What If...?" was coming to Disney+, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told fans that they could expect 10 episodes in Season 1. However, that announcement was made in late December 2019, before anyone had heard of COVID-19, and it now appears that fans will have to wait until Season 2 to see the full slate of stories.

Collider spoke with "What If...?" executive producer Brad Winderbaum, who broke the news Season 1 would only feature nine of the promised 10 episodes. "It was just, honestly, like everything else, that was a COVID impact," he said. "There was an episode that just wouldn't hit the completion date, but luckily we do get to see it in the second season of the show."

Of course, hidden in that setback is some excellent news, considering that Winderbaum practically confirmed Season 2 of the show. So, in the long run, fans will get to see all the storylines that they were promised, along with an entire second season to accompany the episode they will have to wait for. All things considered, fans looking forward to these alternate imaginings of their favorite MCU characters still have plenty to be excited about.