Marvel’s new animated series What If…? just arrived on Disney+ and with it, a lot of fan-favorite actors are returning to the MCU. Unfortunately, some familiar voices will also not be heard in this new show, to the great disappointment of many Marvel fans.
Not all the most famous MCU actors were willing or available to return to their superhero personas for this new animated series, and fans will notice that familiar characters like Steve Rogers and Iron Man now sound a little different.
10 Returning: Hayley Atwell
After appearing in several Marvel movies and the short-lived TV series Agent Carter, Hayley Atwell is back to the MCU as Peggy Carter. In What If…? she is much more that “just” an agent actually, as it turns out that the first episode of the series centers around Peggy as she becomes Captain Carter in this alternate version of the Captain America origin story. Atwell has always been a fan-favorite as Agent Carter and it is a delight for them to have her return to the MCU in such a center-stage role as this time around she is the first Avenger.
9 Not Returning: Robert Downey Jr.
Some actors have been such staples of the MCU that is it sometimes hard to accept they are not their characters. Robert Downey Jr. has so perfectly filled the shoes of Tony Stark for so long that is was a heartbreak for many fans when he left the MCU after Avengers: Endgame. Many might have hoped the actor would return for What If…? and once again be Iron Man, but it isn’t the case. In the show, Iron Man has therefore been recasted (with Mick Wingert) since, for Robert Downey Jr., the MCU is definitely something of the past.
8 Returning: Chris Hemsworth
While some actors are done with the MCU, some are still on the fence. Take Chris Hemsworth for instance, who will continue to play the role of the God of Thunder, Thor Odinson, for the foreseeable future. He is back in What If…? and we will be in the next Thor movie.
It is unclear what the fate of Thor will be in What If…? but it will no doubt have something to do with his mischievous brother Loki, who is set to be at the center of the show’s third episode.
7 Not Returning: Elizabeth Olsen
Since the end of WandaVision, it is unclear if Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlet Witch, is fully in control of her powers or not. But until fans can find out more in the next Doctor Strange movie, they’ll have to see what happens in an alternate reality featuring Wanda and Strange together. However, this version of Wanda is not set to be played by Elizabeth Olsen. While Olsen is still very much involved with the MCU, it is likely that a scheduling conflict came in the way of having her be part of the animated series.
6 Returning: Sebastian Stan
Bucky is here to stay, and it looks like he may not even be the Winter Soldier anymore in What If…?. That being said, Sebastian Stan is still lending his voice to the character, who turned out to provide a lot of comedic relief in the first episode of the show.
It’s unknown in how many episodes Stan’s character will appear, but it wouldn’t be surprising to continue seeing him as a partner of Captain Carter or even with his buddy Steve Rogers.
5 Not Returning: Chris Evans
Though Sebastian Stan is back as Bucky Barnes, Chris Evans is no longer Steve Rogers. In fact in What If…? the “kid from Brooklyn” is played by Josh Keaton, a seasoned voice actor who actually managed to sound a lot like Evans in the first episode of the animated series. Evans is most likely done with the MCU and while he will be sorely missed by fans in future movies, it is nice to see his character live on in What If…? and to get to discover who would Steve Rogers be if he had never become Captain America.
4 Returning: Paul Bettany
While Elizabeth Olsen will not be lending her voice to the animated version of Wanda Maximoff, Paul Bettany is returning to fill the shoes of Vision in What If…? It is unknown how much of Vision we will see in the show or even if Bettany will just be the voice of Vision or also returning as JARVIS, Tony Stark’s AI assistant.
No matter how much viewers get from him, fans will be happy to hear Bettany voice Vision again since as far as his future with Marvel is concerned, the actor is no longer contracted to reappear in the MCU.
3 Not Returning: Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson, who has been playing the role of Black Widow since her first appearance in Iron Man 2, is not returning to the MCU for What If…?, as Lake Bell will be voicing the character. Given the fact that Johansson is currently suing Disney over a breach of her contract for Black Widow, it is unlikely we will see her again in the MCU. Things could change, and the relationship between the actor and Disney could improve, but in any case, in the main timeline, her character is no longer alive and therefore out of the MCU. If we ever seen Black Widow again, she will most likely have a new face.
2 Returning: Natalie Portman
The last time MCU fans heard of Natalie Portman, it was because she was announced as returning as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor in the upcoming movie Thor: Love and Thunder. Portman has not played this character since appearing in Avengers: Endgame, but she is back in the game for What If…? Surely fans will see her involved in a narrative arc around Thor and Loki, but no detail have been leaked yet. In any case it will be interesting to find out what the fate of Jane Foster is in an alternate universe.
1 Not returning: Tom Holland
Sadly, Tom Holland’s highly recognizable voice will not be heard in What If…? as Peter Parker. Spider-Man will be in the show, but he won’t sound like Holland. However, the actor is not unfamiliar with doing voice-acting work, as he in fact worked with his MCU-buddy Chris Pratt in 2020 on the Pixar movie Onward. But between Uncharted and Spider-Man: No Way Home, it surely sounds like the young actor has been quite busy filming lately, and that or another contract issue with Sony might explain why he isn’t in What…If?