When Marvel Studios’ first foray into animation — a series called What If…? — was announced, Marvel fans weren’t sure how many of their favorite MCU stars would be returning for the project. As it turns out, quite a few Avengers franchise actors decided to make the leap from live-action to the new animated series, which debuted on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.
Among the returning Marvel Cinematic Universe stars are Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/the Hulk), Josh Brolin (Thanos), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), Michael B. Jordan (Erik “Killmonger” Stevens), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stephen Strange), and late actor Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther).
Although the star-studded What If…? cast list features a number of fan-favorites, there are some notable missing names — Brie Larson (Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel), Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), and, of course, Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man).
It is no secret that RDJ’s time in the MCU is over. The actor has previously confirmed on multiple occasions that he has done “all I could” with the Iron Man character. He even infamously unfollowed all of his Avengers costars on social media earlier this year — although this probably meant nothing, Marvel fans were up-in-arms about the move, which was likely orchestrated by Downey, Jr.’s management team as he moves his career away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Stark, as fans know, sacrificed himself in Avengers: Endgame (2019), cementing RDJ’s exit. Now, Marvel has given the first look at their recast Iron Man in a new What If…? trailer.
Although the series is animated, so Stark still resembles Downey, Jr., there is a new voice actor behind the Stark Industries head. You can watch the trailer in full below:
The high points are clips of Stark taking celebratory photos with Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger and the Sorceror Supreme on a number of adventures, including one with Thor as his companion.
The official description of Marvel’s What If…? reads:
What If…? flips the script on the MCU, reimagining famous events from the films in unexpected ways. Coming to Disney+ in Summer 2021, 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. The series is directed by Bryan Andrews; Ashley Bradley is head writer.
Have you been watching What If…?
You can stream Black Widow and the three series in Marvel’s Phase 4 so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki — on Disney+ anytime.