Marvel’s What If…? TV series is bringing back 51 Marvel Cinematic Universe actors, so that they can tell alternate versions of various events that have happened throughout the MCU’s first three phases. Note that, as of right now, Marvel is planning on only providing twists to Infinity Saga movies, not anything that comes in Phase 4.
In 1977, Marvel Comics debuted the What If…? series, and has published 13 volumes overall. Conceptually, What If…? focuses on major franchise events, and theorizes how different character actions would affect the storyline. The comic series uses various focal characters, allowing for different perspectives. Given the MCU’s worldwide reach, the upcoming Disney+ series What If…? will undoubtedly please fans who have long agonized about controversial plot points. Even more, the new What If…? series won’t be restricted to just the MCU canon, so the featured performers can be creative with their commentaries and ideas.
The animated What If…? series premieres on Disney+ on August 11, 2021. As with the original comic series, Uatu the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) will narrate. The first episode will explore what might’ve happened if Peggy Carter became Captain America and if Steve Rogers transformed into Iron Man. Here’s a full list of Marvel actors who will participate in the What If…? series.
Michael B. Jordan as N’Jadaka aka Erik “Killmonger” Stevens: Jordan made his MCU debut in the Oscar-winning film Black Panther. Thanks to the character’s black ops accomplishments, the Oakland native received his moniker, Killmonger. Killmonger is killed by T’Challa in Black Panther.
Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier: Stan made his MCU debut in Captain America: The First Avenger, and has since appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Stan recently starred in the Disney+ show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier too. Bucky is a childhood friend and protector of Steve Rogers.
Josh Brolin as Thanos: Brolin first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy and became the MCU’s Big Bad. Thanos disposed of numerous superheroes in Avengers: Infinity War, thus setting up the conflict for Avengers: Endgame. Thanos was decapitated by Thor, and ultimately defeated – through time travel – by Tony Stark.
Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner aka Hulk: Ruffalo debuted in The Avengers, and reprised the role in Iron Man 3‘s credits scene, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. In Ruffalo’s most recent appearance as Hulk, the character embraces his public persona as Smart Hulk.
Tom Hiddleston as Loki: In 2011, Hiddleston made his MCU debut as the God of Thunder’s adopted brother in Thor. Since then, Hiddleston has appeared in five more installments. Loki is killed by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, but later appears in Avengers: Endgame. Hiddleston recently returned to the Loki character for his titular Disney+ show Loki.
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury: Jackson appeared in the first MCU film, Iron Man, and has since reappeared in eight additional installments. In 2019 alone, Nick Fury was part of Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home (as Talos in disguise). After Quentin Beck attempts to ruin Peter Parker’s reputation, Nick Fury decides to get back to work.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor: Hemsworth made his debut as the aforementioned God of Thunder in the 2011 MCU film bearing the character’s name. Most recently, Thor decapitated Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, and then fattened up before rejoining the Avengers. Thor is currently traveling with the Guardians of the Galaxy, this coming after naming Valkyrie as New Asgard’s ruler.
Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter: Atwell made her MCU debut in Captain America: The First Avenger as a British agent. After appearing in three more franchise films, Atwell returned for Avengers: Endgame. Steve Rogers travels back in time all the way to the 1940s, where he reunites with Peggy. The couple then grows old together. Atwell has portrayed Peggy Carter in the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, and Avengers Assemble.
Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa aka Black Panther: Boseman first appeared as T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War and was the central focus in Black Panther. After becoming a victim of the infamous Thanos snap in Avengers: Infinity War, he’s revived by Bruce Banner in Avengers: Endgame. Boseman tragically passed away in 2020, and What If…? will mark his final MCU performance.
Karen Gillan as Nebula: Portraying a space pirate, Gillan first emerged in Guardians of the Galaxy. After two more franchise appearances, Nebula travels back in time and kills her past self, but ultimately survives because of time travel technicalities. She’s currently with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton aka Hawkeye: Renner joined the MCU for Thor and The Avengers. In 2019, Avengers: Endgame marked Renner’s fifth franchise film, with Barton going by “Ronin” after losing his family via the Thanos Snap. With his family back, Renner’s Hawkeye will lead a self-titled Disney+ show later in 2021;.
Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man: After three franchise films, Rudd reprized his electronics expert character in Avengers: Endgame. Lang helped defeat Thanos, then reunited with partner Hope van Dyne aka Wasp and daughter Cassie. He’ll next star in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in 2023.
Michael Douglas as Hank Pym: The veteran film actor debuted in Ant-Man as a founding member of The Avengers. Douglas returned for Ant-Man and the Wasp, and appears as both a 1970 version and present version of himself in Avengers: Endgame.
Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan: After portraying the S.H.I.E.L.D. officer in Captain America: The First Avenger, he hasn’t appeared in a feature film since. However, McDonough did reprise his role in the short film Agent Carter and the ABC series of the same name.
Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark: Portraying the founder of Stark Industries (Tony’s father), Dominic Cooper made his MCU debut in Captain America: The First Avenger. Since then, he’s just appeared in the 2013 short film Agent Carter, along with five episodes of the aforementioned ABC series of the same name. In Avengers: Endgame, John Slattery reprized his Iron Man 2 role as an older Howard Stark.
Sean Gunn as Kraglin (and Other Characters): Gunn portrays Kraglin in Guardians of the Galaxy, and also did motion capture for Rocket. Gunn reprised the Kraglin role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and once again provided motion capture for Rocket in both in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
David Dastmalchian as Kurt: In the MCU, Dastmalchian only appeared in Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Recently, Dastmalchian crossed over into the DCEU to portray Polka-Dot Man in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
Stanley Tucci as Abraham Erskine: In 2011, Tucci portrayed the German WWII scientist in Captain America: The First Avenger. The character transforms Steve Rogers with Super Soldier Serum, only to be killed by Heinz Kruger.
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster: In Thor, Portman first appeared as the astrophysicist and title character’s love interest. In the MCU, Jane allegedly dumped Thor after he pursued the Infinity Stones. Portman appears in Avengers: Endgame through archive footage from Thor: The Dark World, and will lead the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder as a new version of Thor.
Taika Waititi as Korg: Waititi directed Thor: Ragnarok and will soon helm Thor: Love and Thunder. However, as an MCU actor, Waititi has voiced the Kronan character in both Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame. He’ll reprise the role for Thor: Love and Thunder. Korg most recently fought Cull Obsidian in the battle against Thanos.
Toby Jones as Arnim Zola: Thus far, Jones only portrayed Captain America’s supervillain nemesis in Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, along with one episode of the ABC series Agent Carter.
Djimon Hounsou as Korath: Hounsou portrayed the Starforce member in both Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel. Korath is presumably killed by Drax the Destroyer, but appears as his younger self while battling against Carol Danvers.
Jeff Goldblum as Grandmaster: As the ruler of Sakaar, Goldblum made his MCU debut in Thor: Ragnarok. Goldblum’s Grandmaster is the Collector’s brother.
Michael Rooker as Yondu Udanta: Rooker portrayed the Ravager leader Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Yondu sacrifices his life to save Peter Quill.
Chris Sullivan as Taserface: Sullivan’s one and only MCU appearance came in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As a Ravagers lieutenant, Taserface is known to be quite dumb and is often disrespected became of his contrived bravado. The character dies during a ship explosion.
Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif: After being absent since Thor: The Dark World, Alexander recently made her live-action MCU return on the Disney+ show Loki. Alexander will also voice Sif on What If…?, and appear in 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder.
Angela Bassett as Ramonda: One of the most respected actresses of her generation, Bassett plays Ramonda in the MCU, T’Challa’s mother and Wakanda’s queen up until her son’s ascension to the throne. She’ll return to voice Ramonda on What If…?, and appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Paul Bettany as Vision: Bettany is of course no stranger to providing a voice in the MCU, as he voiced Tony Stark‘s JARVIS A.I. prior to Vision’s creation. Bettany will voice Vision on What If…?, but it remains to be seen where else he’ll resurface after WandaVision.
Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart: Bibb’s Christine Everhart appeared as a Vanity Fair reporter who sleeps with Tony in the first Iron Man, then gets treated rather terribly by him in Iron Man 2, back when Tony was more of a jerk. Christine returns for the first time since in What If…?.
Clancy Brown as Surtur: A prolific actor in both live-action and animation, Brown voiced Asgard’s doom in Thor: Ragnarok, and will reprise the role for What If…?.
Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine: Award-winning A-lister Don Cheadle will voice Rhodey on Marvel’s What If…?, after recently playing a small – but Emmy nominated – role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. He’s set to star on Disney+’s upcoming Armor Wars show.
Carrie Coon as Proxima Midnight: Coon, who first earned widespread acclaim playing Nora on HBO’s The Leftovers, voiced Thanos’ “child” Proxima Midnight in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. She’ll reprise the role on What If…?.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange: Cumberbatch has so far played the Sorcerer Supreme in four MCU movies, and looks to have a large role in Marvel’s What If…?. He’ll also appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and star in his own sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2022.
Benicio del Toro as The Collector: The Collector has so far appeared in Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Avengers: Infinity War. He’ll be back in What If…?, but his status within the live-action MCU is a bit murky at present.
Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis: Like Sif, Darcy had been absent since Thor: The Dark World, only to return in Disney+’s WandaVision show. Dennings will be back voicing Darcy as part of What If…?.
Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan: As director of Iron Man 1 and 2, Favreau was one of the early architects of the MCU, and will be back as Happy Hogan in What If…?. In live-action Happy will next be seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Seth Green as Howard the Duck: A Hollywood jack of all trades, actor/writer/producer/director Green will once again provide the voice of Howard the Duck on What If…?.
Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson: Agent Coulson was an early MCU fan-favorite, and went on to lead the Agents of SHIELD TV show after his “death.” Prior to What If…?, Gregg played a younger Coulson in 2019’s Captain Marvel.
Frank Grillo as Crossbones/Brock Rumlow: Although Rumlow was killed off in Captain America: Civil War, Grillo played a past version as part of Avengers: Endgame‘s time heist, and will be back to voice the character on What If…?.
Danai Gurira as Okoye: First gaining fame as Michonne on The Walking Dead, Gurira plays loyal Wakandan warrior Okoye in the MCU, and in addition to What If…?, will appear in 2022’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Rachel House as Topaz: A regular collaborator with Taika Waititi, House played Topaz, deadpan bodyguard to the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok, and she’ll be back for Marvel’s What If…?.
John Kani as T’Chaka: Father to T’Challa, and former Black Panther, T’Chaka was King of Wakanda until being killed during Captain America: Civil War. Kani will reprise the role on What If…?, in an episode in which T’Challa becomes Star-Lord instead of Peter Quill.
Evangeline Lilly as Wasp/Hope van Dyne: Lilly starred as Hope alongside Scott Lang in the first two Ant-Man movies, and will be back for 2023’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. She’ll also voice Hope in What If…?.
Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer: After not appearing since her debut in 2016’s Doctor Strange, McAdams’ Christine will return as part of What If…? She’ll also be back alongside her friend/colleague/love interest in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Kurt Russell as Ego: While Peter Quill’s ruthless father may be dead in the live-action MCU, Russell will return to voice Ego the Living Planet as part of What If…?, although it’s unclear exactly in what capacity.
Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue: Many MCU fans lamented the sudden death of Serkis’ Klaue in Black Panther, feeling he had more to offer the franchise. If nothing else, at least he’ll be back for What If…?.
Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill: After most recently appearing – kind of – in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Smulders will reprise her role as Nick Fury’s most loyal former SHIELD associate on Marvel’s What If…?. It’s unclear what the non-Skrull version is up to in the normal MCU currently though.
Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One: While her casting in the role has always been a bit controversial for various reasons, Swinton is a terrific actress, and after having last appeared in Avengers: Endgame, will be back for What If…?.
Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter: After being absent since Captain America: Civil War, VanCamp’s Sharon finally returned in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as the villainous Power Broker. It’s unclear what side she’ll be on in What If…?.
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Ebony Maw: Another of Thanos’ deceased “children” will return for What If…?, as the loquacious Ebony Maw is back, presumably with some more torture techniques.
Benedict Wong as Wong: While fans continue to wonder why exactly Doctor Strange’s former right-hand man is fighting Abomination in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Wong will first return as part of Marvel’s What If…? cast.
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