Culture & Lifestyle
Published May 8, 2024

Marvel Studios and ILM Immersive Announce 'What If...? - An Immersive Story' Coming Exclusively to Apple Vision Pro

The first-ever interactive Disney+ original story will soon turn fans into Heroes in an hour-long mixed reality experience.

Marvel Studios and ILM Immersive Announce 'What If...? - An Immersive Story' Coming Exclusively to Apple Vision Pro

Marvel Studios and ILM Immersive announce “What If…? – An Immersive Story”, the first-ever interactive Disney+ Original story coming exclusively to Apple Vision Pro. Fans will be invited to step inside the Multiverse like never before and have the chance to dive into an immersive, narrative-driven and innovative story in mixed reality. Connected to the critically acclaimed Disney+ Original animated series What If…?Marvel.com was given a first look at the hour-long experience, diving into what fans can expect when it is released soon as a new app for Apple Vision Pro.

“As a kid, my favorite stories were about worlds beyond my own, advanced technologies, and heroes traveling across space and time. ‘What If…? – An Immersive Story’ is the next evolution in how we tell our stories, where fans across generations can experience them and live out the adventure alongside their favorite heroes,” said director and executive producer Dave Bushore. “This experience kicks the door open to the Marvel Universe, and it’s a glimpse of what I’ve been waiting for my whole life.”

“What If…?” reimagines events from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in unexpected ways. Now, fans have been chosen to step into the leading role of an all-new immersive story that transforms the space around them as they traverse across realities. Throughout their journey, they will come face-to-face with Multiversal variants of their favorite characters, learn the mystic arts, and be tasked with harnessing the power of the Infinity Stones.

What If...? - An Immersive Story Space Stone

“‘What If…?’ the animated series as well as the comic book has always been about looking over the horizon into realities that have yet to be conceived,” said executive producer Brad Winderbaum. “‘What If…? – An Immersive Story’ takes this one step further and actually allows you to visit these strange new worlds, not as a Watcher but as an actual participant. The creative work on this project is nothing less than stellar and we could not be more excited for fans to interact firsthand with some of their favorite Marvel heroes.”

Utilizing the revolutionary spatial computing capabilities of Apple Vision Pro, “What If…? – An Immersive Story” will deliver a technologically advanced and engaging experience to fans. They will cross between augmented and virtual reality as they live out their narrative adventure, interacting with the world around them by using their eyes and hands. Fans will step into breathtaking environments that place them in new and iconic MCU locations, and feel completely immersed with stunning visuals and spatial audio. Together, these features will remind fans that time, space, and reality are more than a linear path.

"This experience is truly groundbreaking and unlike anything we’ve done before," said executive producer Jamie Voris, EVP/Chief Technology Officer at The Walt Disney Studios. "It's an exciting new way to become a part of the MCU through a deeply emotional and compelling story."

What If...? - An Immersive Story Hela Shard

Read on for an exclusive Q&A with Dave Bushore, Director and EP, Marvel Studios and Shereif M. Fattouh, Producer and EP, ILM Immersive!

 

What do you think will excite Marvel fans the most about what you and the team have brought to life?

Dave Bushore: I’ve been a Marvel fan my entire life. I love the characters, the worlds, and the human side of the choices they make. We’re now able to create those worlds, those choices, and dream up new ones. We're finally able to put the universe at the tips of your fingers. Fans can truly be heroes like never before… yes, it's cliché… but it’s true. This project was a technological journey into mystery for an entirely new form of Marvel storytelling. One I think we’ve only just scratched the surface of.

“What If…?” is a fan favorite on Disney+, but how will fans be able to participate in the story? Can you talk about how we are involved in how the story unfolds?

Dave Bushore: The Disney+ series and comics were the perfect opportunity and story setting for us to jump in and develop this type of adventure because, as the Watcher says, “You have been chosen.” That’s the fun at the heart of these new forms of adventures, putting you at the core of the narrative. You are the central protagonist. The characters are on their own journey and you’re the “What If” to their story, which is awesome. You play a pivotal role in the outcome in how their story resolves.

We’re excited about new “What If…?” characters in the key art! Is there anything that you can tease about them?

Dave Bushore: We had a lot of fun talking about variant character ideas and exploring story arcs for this adventure with our writers and the “What If…?” production team. I can’t wait for people to find out more about them and experience their stories, but definitely keep an eye out for a few of them in the future.

What If...? - An Immersive Story Watcher Infinity Stone

You’ve announced that “What If…? – An Immersive Story” is an hour long. As an executive producer, how did you and the development team approach balancing story and interactivity?

Shereif M. Fattouh: Finding that balance is always one of the most important aspects of the initial concept discovery phase.  There are many directions it can go when figuring out the right direction, and they all come with unique approaches.  Luckily for us, our director Dave Bushore had a strong vision for how to tell an immersive story authentic to Marvel and the “What If...?” series.  Having that north star allowed us to flesh out core pillars that we referenced at all our key prototype phases and throughout the production.

It sounds like there’s a lot of cool moments in this experience, like learning mystic spells. What was that creative process like, developing this type of interactivity?

Shereif M. Fattouh: We really wanted to use this amazing new technology in a way that allowed fans to authentically perform the kind of magic they had only seen on screen in a passive way as a viewer.  The creative process started quite simply through asking ourselves, “What could we do that hasn’t been done before?”  Once we had established the Infinity Stones and gesture-based mechanics needed to harness their power, the real fun began as our amazing designers and engineers started work on how to bring everything to life while using Apple Vision Pro.

What are you most excited for fans to experience and anything you can tease today?

Shereif M. Fattouh: Our team is super excited for the fans to finally get to experience this all-new type of content.  We can’t wait for them to step inside this story and hopefully feel like they are living an actual Marvel adventure. I’m particularly excited to see what decisions they make, because as Wong warns, all who use the Infinity Stones will be faced with an important choice.

 

“What If…? – An Immersive Story” is directed by Dave Bushore at Marvel Studios and produced by Shereif M. Fattouh at ILM Immersive. The experience is written by David Dong and Phil McCarty (“The Learning Curve”), with music by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning composer Laura Karpman (“American Fiction,” “The Marvels”). “What If…? – An Immersive Story” is executive produced by Bushore, Fattouh, and Brad Winderbaum (“What If…?,” “X-Men ‘97”), with Bryan Andrews (“What If…?,” “Primal”) serving as consulting producer. Vicki Dobbs Beck, VP of immersive content at Lucasfilm and ILM Immersive, Mark S. Miller, VP of creative development and production at ILM Immersive, and Jamie Voris, EVP/Chief Technology Officer at The Walt Disney Studios, all serve as executive producers.

Additional details about “What If…? – An Immersive Story” will be revealed soon. Fans looking to stay up-to-date on all news as it happens can follow the official social media handles from “What If…?,” Marvel Studios, and ILM Immersive.

X (formerly Twitter): @MarvelStudios, @ILMImmersive, @DisneyPlus, @WhatIfOfficial

Instagram: @MarvelStudios, @ILMImmersive, @DisneyPlus, @WhatIf

Facebook: @MarvelStudios, @ILMImmersive, @DisneyPlus, @OfficialWhatIf

TikTok: @Marvel, @DisneyPlus

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