Josh Keaton Replaces Chris Evans as Steve Rogers and More Recast In the MCU

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Chris Evans as Captain America (L) and Josh Keaton (R)

Credit: Marvel Studios (L) / Josh Keaton Instagram (R)

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe grows and grows, new talent will join the franchise as yet-to-be-seen characters. But what of those that already exist in Kevin Feige’s MCU? Some remain, of course, but others have been recast. One of which is Chris Evans’s Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, who will be brought to life by Josh Keaton.

Chris Evans as Captain America
Credit: Marvel Studios

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began almost 15 years ago and, in two months’ time, will welcome its 32nd feature film with director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) — the third and final installment in the helmer’s Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. It’s safe to say the MCU has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings with Iron Man (2008), spawning over 30 films and multiple TV shows.

Since Disney+ launched in 2019, The Walt Disney Company’s streaming service has welcomed multiple new streaming originals. In 2021, Marvel Studios got in on the fun with the release of its first MCU TV show WandaVision, also the first project in Marvel Phase Four. Since WandaVision, there have been many other television shows, including The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If…?, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) on Wandavision
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: 10 “Villains” Most Likely to Be In MCU’s ‘Thunderbolts’ Squad

While most of these shows are of the live-action nature MCU fans have grown accustomed to, Marvel’s What If…? became the franchise’s first canon animated series. And also allowed fans their first real detailed look at the possibilities of the Multiverse that were introduced in Tom Hiddleston’s Loki.

Marvel’s What If…?

What is Marvel’s What If…?

Marvel’s animated series debuted in the summer of 2021 shortly after Michael Waldron and Kate Herron’s Loki wrapped up and left viewers with dropped jaws at the first official introduction of Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror. Loki played into the rules of the Multiverse as well as showcasing how each timeline has its own Variant.

He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) in Marvel Studios' LOKI, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Marvel Studios

What If…? is a whole show about the Multiversal elements laid out in Loki. Narrated by Jeffery Wright’s Uatu, AKA The Watcher, What If…? focused on a different “what if?” moment from the MCU, with the anthology series zooming in on characters like T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to tell a different kind of story.

For example, the latter, which was also the last Marvel performance from the late Chadwick Boseman, saw T’Challa become this universe’s version of the Guardian of the Galaxy Star-Lord, while the former became Captain Carter instead of Steve Rogers becoming Captain America. Atwell reprised her role as Captain Carter in last year’s live-action sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).

Hayley Atwell as Captain Carter in 'Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness' (2022)
Credit: Marvel Studios

While each episode acted as its own story, the narrative was connected through Uatu’s observations, ultimately leading to a battle of the Multiverse with Wright’s character taking on Ultron (Ross Marquand), enlisting the help of the Guardians of the Multiverse — Gamora (Cynthia McWilliams), Black Widow (Lake Bell), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Star-Lord T’Challa (Boseman), Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), and Doctor Strange Supreme (Benedict Cumberbatch).

The series is created by A.C. Bradley and directed by Bryan Andrews.

When is Marvel’s What If…? Season 2 releasing?

The series was expected to drop in early 2023, but that seems unlikely, considering the dilution of projects being released on Disney+ over the next year. Feige recently stated the studio was pulling back on the amount it distributes onto the streaming service, leaving What If…? Season 2 and other projects like Echo, Ironheart, Daredevil: Born Again, and Agatha: Coven of Chaos with question marks over their release. It can be expected that What If…? Season 2 will now release in 2024.

Hayley Atwell as Captain Carter in 'What If...?'
Credit: Marvel Studios

As it was revealed at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, What If…? is part of Marvel’s Animated Multiverse, which also features Spider-Man: Freshman Year and the What If…? spinoff, Marvel Zombies.

Who is in the cast of What If…? Season 2?

With no release date confirmed, fans know little about the direction of What If…? Season 2. However, there have been trickles of information: we know that the first episode is currently called “What If…Captain Carter Fought the Hydra Stomper?”, and that the Gamora and Tony Stark (Mick Wingert) episode that was meant for the first season will appear in the sophomore outing instead. We also know some of the cast confirmed for the show, including those that will take on characters that have already been brought to life on screen by others.

Steve Rogers in the HYDRA Stomper in 'What If...?'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Related: Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Replacement May Return to the MCU Next Year

According to The Direct, 11 actors have been confirmed for What If…? Season 2. They include Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher, Hayley Atwell as Captain Carter, Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Taika Waititi as Korg, Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster, and Cate Blanchett as Hela.

As for those recast characters, Mick Wingert will appear as Tony Stark/Iron Man replacing Robert Downey Jr., Cynthia McWilliams takes on Gamora instead of Zoë Saldaña, Lake Bell plays Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow replacing Scarlett Johansson, and Josh Keaton reprises his role as Steve Rogers/Hydra Stomper for the second season. The first season also featured Alexandra Daniels as Captain Marvel, replacing Brie Larson in the role.

Black Widow, Captain Carter and Gamora
Credit: Marvel Studios

What If…?, Disney+, and Marvel Phase Five

Is What If…? in Marvel Phase Five?

What If..?, if it airs this year or next year, will be part of Marvel Phase Five. The Phase began in February 2023 with Peyton Reed’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023) and will end next year with Thunderbolts (2024).

What other TV shows are in Marvel Phase Five?

Along with What If…? Season 2, other shows in Marvel Phase Five include Loki Season 2, Secret Invasion, Ironheart, Echo, Daredevil: Born Again, and potentially Agatha: Coven of Chaos.

Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness in 'WandaVision'
Credit: Marvel Studios

Will there be a season 3 of What If…?

Yes, there is a third season of What If…? expected, although when it will release is yet to be confirmed. The series was renewed for season 3 but will be without A.C. Bradley as she steps away from the show, announcing her departure last summer.

All nine episodes of What If…? are now streaming on Disney+.

Will you tune into What If…? Season 2 when it drops on Disney+? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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