Marvel’s canon animated series, What If…?, debuted in August, bringing with it a massive cast of fan-favorite heroes and villains from Kevin Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, despite many names returning to voice their animated counterparts, a handful of characters were recast with new performers for the television show, and the MCU’s new Captain Marvel has spoken about her experience working on Marvel’s What If…?.
Joining WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and the future Hawkeye Disney+ series, What If…? saw the show’s narrator, The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright), bring alternate versions of characters from alternate universes into the MCU, based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name.
Seemingly a spinoff, if not a direct followup, to Michael Waldron and Kate Herron’s Loki, the animated series delivered a stellar cast of returning actors experiencing different timelines within the Marvel Multiverse. While characters like Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Stange/Doctor Strange Supreme) returned, there were some interesting replacements within the cast.
The ever-popular Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) were voiced by Mick Wingert, Josh Keaton, and Hudson Thames, respectively. These aren’t huge surprises considering both Downey Jr. and Evans have wrapped up their Marvel contracts, and Holland is tied to Sony Pictures, but characters like Drax the Destroyer and Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel, were also replaced with new actors.
Fred Tatasciore took on Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Drax instead of Dave Bautista, while Alexandra Daniels voiced Brie Larson’s MCU superhero.
The series also saw Hayley Atwell return as Agent Peggy Carter, although here, it was she and not Steve Rogers that took the super-soldier serum to become Captain Carter. Marvel’s What If…? also saw the last Marvel outing for the late Chadwick Boseman. The actor played an alternate version of T’Challa/Black Panther in the form of this universe’s Star Lord. What If…? also mentioned a really famous Marvel character for the first time in the MCU…
Daniels recently sat down with her friend Lilah (@LilahVision) on Twitch to speak all things, Captain Marvel, with the actress revealing what it’s like to work for Disney, the voice recording process, and the secrecy that comes with anything Marvel Studios.
When I auditioned they were looking for a Brie Larson voice double. So they sent a clip of Brie Larson from the movie and I was like cool, I can do that and I did it and like a month later they were like you booked it.”
The What If…? star, at first, thought that she would be an uncredited performer in the animated series and that her agents told her to hold off from sharing anything:
“And that was my first voice over job ever. I thought I was going to just be like Brie Larson’s voice double, I’m not going to get any credit, they’re going to say it was her.”
“Until the day the first episode came out and it had my name, my agents were like you can’t talk about it, you can’t say anything, you cant promote yourself, you can’t do anything until we see it’s you or Brie Larson.”
And to her surprise, she saw her own name alongside some long-standing MCU actors:
“And there I was with the likes of Samuel L. Jackson and Mark Ruffalo and I was like OK this is cool, this is not a thing I expected for my life.”
When asked about the recording process and how it felt to become Captain Marvel, Daniels revealed:
“Because it’s Disney, they don’t give you the episodes, they just give you your lines, well, my scenes […] and then you’re in a big room, a giant sound studio, and it’s just you standing there and they hadn’t done any of the animation yet so you’re like thinking about what it was gonna look like in your brain, imagining how they wanted it to be and wingin’ it.”
“One of the producers was like this is the part where Thor takes your head off with a hammer so if you could make that noise…”
While Daniels was only given five minutes prep in the first instance, she talks about how encouraging the director — presumably, Bryan Andrews — was during the process, giving the actress cues and the freedom to explore the character. Captain Marvel appeared mainly in the episode where Hemsworth’s Party Thor became out of control, leading the storyline to a showdown of the immense heroes in this alternate universe.
Andrews stated earlier this year that scheduling issues could have been the reason some performers did not return to voice their characters. Larson, of course, is filming The Marvels (2023) from Nia DaCosta and has also recently been involved in Disney Cruise Line’s new Marvel experience.
As for Bautista, he claims he was never asked about the project.
What If…? Season 2 has already been confirmed by Disney and Marvel Studios along with the new series, Marvel Zombies, and it will be interesting to see if the cast of the first season return in its entirety. Amid Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit, Lake Bell voiced Natasha Romanoff/ Black Widow in What If…? with the actress also, surprisingly, being spotted on the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022). There are also the continued rumors about Atwell’s alternate reality Captain Carter transitioning to live-action, with MCU fans eying a potential appearance in next year’s Marvel movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
The next feature film for the MCU is Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) with Tom Holland and Zendaya — Holland has recently spoken up about the press robbing him and his girlfriend Zendaya of their privacy.