The upcoming Marvel’s What If…? animated series is something very special in the context of the MCU. We say that because instead of telling “mainline stories” like the various movies and now Disney+ shows have done, this one is telling alternate universe stories about what MIGHT have happened should certain details gotten shifted or changed. To help make this feel “in-line” with the MCU, many of the voice actors from the MCU have returned to reprise their characters once again, including this being the last role of the late, great, Chadwick Boseman.
But the twist is that they didn’t get everyone. Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans. Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland, and Brie Larson are among a few who weren’t cast in What If…? And according to Dave Bautista, he wasn’t even asked to join the show. Very curious indeed. So how did they go about replacing the voices that everyone knew?
Executive producer Brad Winderbaum answered this in a chat with ComicBook.com, and noted that for them, it wasn’t about getting the voice right per se, but rather, the ability to sell the scene:
“In the cases where we couldn’t get the original voice actors back, and many of which were very iconic roles, very identifiable voices, we prioritized the performance over the soundalike,” Winderbaum said. “So you might be able to achieve a perfect Tony Stark voice, but if the depth of the character wasn’t there and the acting, the performance didn’t have dimensionality to it, it wouldn’t matter. You’d be taken out. That would take you out.”
He also does a bit of “justification” in that the stories are alternate universe, so it would “make sense” that some of these characters wouldn’t sound the same for one reason or another
The first episode of the animated series arrives on August 11th.