Marvel Studios’ Head Of Visual Development Dishes On What If…?’s Early Concept Art

Meinerding opened up about the earliest pieces of concept art for “What If…?” and how far in advance he started working on this project, telling Looper, “Wow. I feel like my brain has not quite computed the pandemic time period, so it’s challenging to actually remember exactly, but it might’ve actually been back to late 2018 when we started.” 

He added, “I had a list of probably about seven characters that Brad Winderbaum mentioned to me that they were excited about, including Peggy and Steve and the Hydra Stomper, and Star-Lord T’Challa, and Zombie Cap, and Doctor Strange. So, I think that was kind of sort of the first set of characters that we were working with, and specifically, with Peggy and Steve and the Hydra Stomper. It was where we were trying to find the style of the show as well.”

On the style of animation, Meinerding remarked, “Animation is challenging in a lot of ways, but the notion of designing characters while you’re trying to figure out a style makes it even slightly more challenging because the look of the show is going to be dependent on really nailing those characters. That was kind of the starting point. Lots of variations, lots of explorations about how stylized versus how realistic, how cartoony should it be versus landing on that sort of more illustrative Leyendecker style.” 

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