Marvel's What If...? finally has an official launch month on Disney Plus

Marvel's What If...?
(Image credit: Disney)

Marvel's What If?... has flown under the radar somewhat since its original announcement – though that could change now that we know what month it'll arrive.

Disney Plus' upcoming animated anthology series, which will explore alternate reality versions of major MCU events, has found itself somewhat forgotten among other notable Marvel productions, including Loki, Black Widow and Shang-Chi.

With no Marvel projects lined up between Black Widow's July 9 and Shang-Chi's September 13 launches respectively, though, MCU fans will need something to fill the void, and What If?... seems set to do that.

As part of an official Disney Plus press release, the studio revealed that Marvel's What If?... would land on its streaming platform this August. However, an exact date hasn't been released by Disney or Marvel Studios just yet.

Analysis: The timing of What If?... couldn't be better

What If?...'s upcoming launch is a smart move on Disney and Marvel's part.

As we mentioned, there's a notable gap between Marvel's summer releases (once Black Widow arrives in July) and Shang-Chi's launch in September.

Ordinarily, that wouldn't be an unexpected move. The warmer, drier weather (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) means that people are less inclined to stay indoors and watch TV. Add in the fact that it's summer blockbuster movie season (which will see audiences flock to theaters to see the likes of Space Jam 2 and The Suicide Squad), and Marvel would have to compete for the attention of viewers.

However, this year – like 2020 – is different. Some nations may stay in, or re-enter, Covid-19 lockdowns as the pandemic continues to threaten the global population. In that sense, people may opt to stay at home more often than they usually would, so they'll need new shows or movies on streaming platforms to entertain them.

Couple that with the fact that Marvel is clearly planning to release MCU content all year round from now on, and it's unsurprising to see What If?... pencilled in for August.

Loki's six-episode run will have ended by that point, and MCU fans will want something new to watch if they've seen Black Widow on the big screen or Disney Plus (via Premier Access). 

With Shang-Chi not arriving until September, August is the perfect time to release What If?..., and give audiences something as fascinating as an animated Marvel Studios series to watch.

What If?... season 1 will contain 10 episodes and launches exclusively on Disney Plus in August 2021.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across. Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.