[EXCLUSIVE] “What IF…?” Director Addresses Tesseract MCU Plot Hole

What If…? flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Marvel Studios’ first animated series focuses on different heroes from the MCU, featuring a voice cast that includes a host of stars who reprise their roles. As we take this deep dive into the various realities, different possibilities and situations obviously will arise. However, could that also introduce some inconsistencies as well?

Mild spoiler for Episode 1 of What If…? – Captain Carter

Early on in the episode, Captain Carter ambushes a Hydra transport, and she obtains the Tesseract. The curious issue here is that she is holding this glowing object, with gloves on, and nothing happened to her. What makes this intriguing is the fact that in previous instances, we’ve seen the Tesseract affect different individuals. 

In Captain America: The First Avenger, The Red Skull was teleported to another planet when he held on to the Tesseract. In the same movie, when the Tesseract hit the floor for the airplane it burned a hole through the plane’s floor, and fell to the bottom of the sea. In Avengers (2012), a glove wearing Nick Fury, grabbed the Tesseract and it immediately burned his hands.

On the flip side, this Captain Carter moment isn’t the only time we’ve seen the Tesseract leave someone unaffected. If you recall back to the first episode of Loki, Hunter B-15 picks up the Tesseract without any affects as well. There’s a possible MCU Fan Theory to explain this, but it really doesn’t solve the other plot holes. We also raised this issue up with the Loki Director in our previous interview too.

The only exception to being affected by the Tesseract that has been established would be what The Collector told us in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1. He alluded to the fact that only powerful beings could wield the stones.   In Avengers: Infinity War, we saw Loki pick up the Tesseract. We also saw both Ebony Maw and Thanos holding it without issue as well. This was understandable given the fact that they were all well beyond human levels.

During our exclusive interview with the creators of What If…?, we got a chance to  ask them about this oddity, and here’s how that conversation went.

The Movie Blog: In the first episode we see [Captain Carter] handling the Tesseract. Previously in the MCU, if anyone touched the Tesseract, they would get burned or worse. Can you explain why [Captain Carter] isn’t affected when she does pick it up?

Bryan Andrews (Director): I believe that if you have a gloved hand one can pick up the Tesseract since the infinity stone is inside. If you touch it an infinity stone, pure and dry, you’ll get toasted, unless you’re someone extremely badass. So and I think in our episode 1, the only people that contact [the Tesseract] are A) their gloved, which is helpful, and B) it’s still the Tesseract so therefore there is a certain level of protection there too. So I believe that’s accurate. At least that’s what the Marvel peeps told me.

A.C. Bradley (Head Writer): There were discussions about this.

The Movie Blog: In the first Avengers movie, Sam Jackson aka Nick Fury, he had a glove on, and he still got burned.

Bryan Andrews (Director): (laughs) Maybe his gloves were way too thin. It all comes down to the brand.

Could gloves, or their brands, really be the difference maker? Maybe having the perfect super soldier serum was enough to block Captain Carter from any effects.  Then again, the infinity stones are said to have a certain type of wisdom of their own. Maybe they get to pick and choose who or when they want to burn people. Either way, it would seem as though despite the conversations Marvel had about this very issue, we still have yet to receive a clear explanation for this inconsistency. The movies seem to be on the same page, but the only time we get some differences are in the current Disney+ shows. We’ll just have to wait and see if this will get sorted out in the future. Marvel’s What If…? is now available to be seen on Disney+.

What If…? Trailer

Director: Bryan Andrews
Writers: AC Bradley
Stars: Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Benicio
Del Toro, Bradley Whitford, Carrie Coon, Chadwick Boseman, Chris
Hemsworth, Chris Sullivan, Clancy Brown, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders,
Danai Gurira, David Dastmalchian, Djimon Hounsou, Dominic Cooper, Don
Cheadle, Emily VanCamp, Evangeline Lilly, Frank Grillo, Georges St-Pierre,
Hayley Atwell, Jaimie Alexander, Jeff Goldblum, Jeremy Renner, John Kani,
Jon Favreau, Josh Brolin, Karen Gillan, Kat Dennings, Kurt Russell, Leslie
Bibb, Mark Ruffalo, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Douglas, Michael Rooker,
Natalie Portman, Neal McDonough, Ophelia Lovibond, Paul Bettany, Paul
Rudd, Rachel House, Rachel McAdams, Samuel L. Jackson, Sean Gunn,
Sebastian Stan, Seth Green, Stanley Tucci, Taika Waititi, Tilda Swinton, Toby
Jones, Tom Hiddleston and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor.
What If…? Will be available on Disney+ on August 11, 2021. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!

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About Emmanuel "E-Man" Noisette

Emmanuel is a Chicago film critic who founded Eman's Movie Reviews. He freelances as a writer and video content creator for sites such as MovieTickets.com. Be sure to join the other 33K+ fans on his Facebook Fan Page for even more movie opinions and fun. Feel free to contact him with any professional inquiries: [email protected]