Another new episode of Marvel’s What If…? has dropped, which means we have another major MCU character whose voice acting role has been replaced. While the Marvel Studios animated series has thus far been serving as a showcase to see performers like Hayley Atwell and Josh Brolin reprise their iconic Marvel Cinematic Universe characters in animated form, there are some pretty major characters for which their live-action countparts did not return – including Tony Stark.
So who voices Tony Stark in What If? Iron Man gets a showcase in Episode 6 of the series, titled “What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?” but that’s not Robert Downey Jr. in the show. Instead, voice actor Mick Wingert plays Tony Stark in What If? We first heard a snippet of Wingert in the stellar third episode of What If, but he gets a chance to shine in Episode 6 and does a swell job. Wingert is a veteran voice actor whose work ranges from the TV series Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness to The Fairly Odd Parents, but What If is not his first time voicing Tony Stark. Indeed, Wingert provides the voice for Tony/Iron Man in the fourth and fifth seasons of the non-Marvel Studios animated series Avengers: Assemble and in various other subsequent animated Marvel shows.
But why is Robert Downey Jr. not in What If? We’ve seen a pattern with the MCU actors who are not in this particular show. Previously, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson were replaced in What If, and adding RDJ to the roster we can see that these three actors in particular had completed their Marvel Studios contracts with Avengers: Endgame and, in Johansson’s case, Black Widow. Thus they were not obligated to return, and Marvel would have had to renegotiate and likely pay a pretty penny to get them back.
However, we’ve also seen that Chris Pratt, Brie Larson, and Dave Bautista were replaced in What If and they all have upcoming MCU projects, so scheduling could also be an issue. Although Bautista took to Twitter to bluntly state that he wasn’t even asked to play Drax in Episode 3 of the show.
Whatever the case, when Robert Downey Jr. said goodbye to Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame, it was for good, and it’s easy to understand why he might not want to step back into the role for a voice part in an episode of an animated series. Although who knows – maybe he’ll make some triumphant return in a future season.
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