Meet Ryan Meinerding, Head of Visual Development for Marvel Productions, also on the animated series “What If?” available on the Disney + platform!
How will this animated series impact the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Ryan Meinerding (Head of Visual Department at Marvel Studios): Right now we are working on expanding the multiverse, which opens up our field of perspectives considerably as the possibilities are now endless. It is the vision of the future that awaits us: everything will be bigger, more wonderful and even more incredible!
Were you inspired by Marvel comics to design the series?
Everything Marvel Studios does is in a way inspired by the comics, but in all fairness the main visual inspiration for the show has been the work of the 1940s American illustrators.
This was therefore our initial idea, we were looking to obtain an illustrated visual result, not necessarily close to the aesthetic of comic books, to stand out from other animated series. The history of the characters and the choices they make are tied to the mythology of the MCU; we therefore sought to identify the most iconic passages of the franchise to revisit them from a different point of view, and explore the impact that the smallest change could have had on the general plot.
Tell us about the Guardian: how was the character developed? Did you seek inspiration from its performer Jeffrey Wright, or rather the appearance of the character as it was designed by designer Jack Kirby?
We wanted the character to take a back seat, somehow to be in the show without noticing his presence. That’s a really interesting aspect of the character, he’s in the truest sense of the word a Guardian who witnesses all of the stories on the show as a mere spectator. The challenge was therefore to transpose this intention into something visual, and the idea therefore came to represent it as a backdrop that we can see in the background.
Is the experience of working on a Marvel animated series different than on a live-action production?
It was amazing! I spent a tremendous amount of time with these characters, I’ve been working for Marvel for about fifteen years. The idea of designing an animated Iron Man armor, reworking the character Peggy to make her become Captain Carter … having worked on these characters for so long and having the chance to revisit them like that was just amazing. . As soon as I heard about this project, I immediately wanted to participate, it was really great!
Which alternative story did you prefer to explore?
In all honesty, I enjoy each of the stories on the show, I’m incredibly excited to have been able to work on each of the episodes. So if I designate one or two as my favorites, it’s not to the detriment of the others because in reality I love them all.
But I have to admit that I have a very special affection for Captain America, and especially the first movie that kind of brought the Marvel franchise to theaters. The first episode of What If? So goes back to that time, and I really liked Captain Carter, the characters that appear in this episode are certainly the ones that I prefer in the series.