What If…? Boss Wrote ‘Very Dark’ Spider-Man Episode for Season 2 — Here’s Why She Squashed It

Season 2 of Disney+’s animated What If…? anthology answered nine new questions in Season 2, including: “What if Nebula joined the Nova Corps?” “What if Peter Quill attacked Earth’s Mightiest Heroes?” And, “What if the Avengers assembled in the year 1602?”

But one question that the showrunner for Seasons 1 and 2 also asked and answered will never see the light of day, seeing as it was a “very dark” episode involv ing your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

To be sure, What If…? Season 2 (now streaming on Disney+) took a darker turn or two here in there, including with the aforementioned premiere centered around Karen Gillian’s Nebula.

That Blade Runner-esque episode was conceived as “a darker detective episode” that writer Matthew Chauncey “ran with,” What If…? showrunner/writer A.C. Bradley shared in an episode-by-episode breakdown for IGN. “It was funny — Matt was writing that episode during the early days of the pandemic and he called me at one point. He’s like, ‘It’s darker.’ The first draft was really dark. It almost ended in a tragedy. And then we lightened it up.”

The fact that all Season 2 episodes were written during the COVID pandemic is what ultimately led to an episode featuring Spider-Man, and penned by Bradley herself, to get squashed.

“It felt like the world was already ending and we didn’t need to add to it. And so [writing Season 2] became kind of an escape and a fun release,” Bradley recalls. “However, I did write an episode, which is forever going in a drawer, that was very, very dark. I was calling it ‘Children of Men with Spider Man.'”

A dystopian thriller set in 2027 amid two decades of human infertility, the 2006 film Children of Men (based on the novel by P.D. James) starred Clive Owen as a former activist who is hired to escort a young refugee to a scientific research facility. Bradley offered IGN no further hints about her Spider-Man-centric take on that tale.

Though Bradley turned over showrunner duties for Season 3 to Chauncey, she does have one episode, pushed from Season 2, left to air — and may have already seen a sneak peek of that Bucky Barnes/Red Guardian team-up.

“I will say that the Season 3 episode is probably my absolute favorite episode I’ve ever written for Marvel,” Bradley offered. “And not just because it features Alexei, who my cat is named after.”

Want scoop on What If…? season 3, or for any other Marvel TV show? Email [email protected], and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line!

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