Fans of Marvel Comics have known about Uatu the Watcher for a long time. His role is to only observer the events of the cosmos and to never interfere. He was introduced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four #13 back in 1963, but the closest thing he had to an appearance in the MCU was a brief cameo of two unnamed Watchers along with Stan himself in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The scene gave the impression that all of Stan’s cameos were connected and that he was really working as an informant for the Watchers.
The character will be moving to center stage this summer as part of the upcoming animated Disney+ series, Marvel’s What If…? The series will look at the events of the MCU and see how it would look if something slightly different happen. Like if Peggy Carter received the super soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers or what if Yondu had taken T’Challa instead of Peter Quill.
Guiding the viewer through the adventures will be Uatu as the narrator, who will be voiced by Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright. According to Flickering Myth, Wright spoke about his role in Disney’s D23 Magazine.
“In the comics, he’s an observer—and then some. Here, in the first season, he starts off as an observer, but he gradually becomes more compelled by what he watches. There are infinite possibilities with this series within the MCU. I’m open to all of it. One thing I think we’re realizing with Marvel and Kevin Feige’s leadership is that these are broad, broad canvasses they’re painting on. I don’t even try to anticipate, so I’m just open to all of it – as The Watcher would be.”
“He’s a godlike, omnipotent figure who is larger than life,” Wright says. “The challenge with a character like that is: How do you make him human? How do you make him relatable? He is mysterious, but he’s also kind of dangerous. You want to know more, and you’re hanging on his every word as he invites you into all these stories.”
Wright also hints that, as in the comics, Uatu could get drawn into the conflicts he observes. “In the comics, he’s an observer—and then some,” Wright says. “Here, in the first season, he starts off as an observer, but he gradually becomes more compelled by what he watches.”
This will be Marvel Studios’ first animated series. The animated series has already gotten a second season and is supposed to make at least one episode for each film in the MCU. The actors from the film will be reprising their roles, voicing their animated counterparts including: Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Josh Brolin as Thanos, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther and many more.