After the drought of MCU content in 2020, Marvel Studios is more than making up for it in 2021 with a stacked slate of new films and various original series for Disney+.
In addition to the fifth episode of Loki on Disney+ and Black Widow finally releasing in theaters this week, Marvel is the studio that keeps on giving by dropping both a new trailer and the release date for its upcoming, inaugural animated series What If...?
Set to debut August 11, What If...? will explore what could happen if one slight change was made to the MCU stories fans know, such as what if Tony Stark was never held hostage in the Middle East? Or what if Peggy Carter received the Super Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers?
While a majority of the show's characters are voiced by their live-action stars, including Chadwick Boseman in his final performance as T'Challa, the same can't be said for the entire cast.
NO CHRIS EVANS OR BRIE LARSON FOR WHAT IF...?
However, they're not the only ones. A voice actor will also be utilized for Benicio Del Toro's The Collector from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise.
In addition, the same goes for Captain Marvel a.k.a. Carol Danvers and Doctor Strange's Steven Strange who are usually played by Brie Larson and Benedict Cumberbatch respectively.
STEVE ROGERS WITHOUT CHRIS EVANS? A CUMBERBATCH-LESS DOCTOR STRANGE?
The absence of Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans isn't all that shocking since the two have supposedly completed their contracts with Marvel Studios, not to mention how much it would cost to bring them back and the nature of their original contracts.
Still, it may be tough for fans to have Steve Rogers on screen with Peggy Carter but without Chris Evans's voice or to hear another actor providing Tony Stark's signature snark.
It is surprising, however, that both Brie Larson and Benedict Cumberbatch are not part of the series considering they both have upcoming MCU films in the works.
While Brie Larson is set to reprise her role as Carol Danvers in 2022's The Marvels, Cumberbatch is part of the cast for Spider-Man: No Way Home and has his second solo film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releasing March 25, 2022.
It's possible that scheduling conflicts are the reason for their absence, especially since this series — while animated — features an all-star cast of Marvel talent ranging from Josh Brolin as Thanos to Chris Hemsworth as Thor and even Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger. Another possibility, one that is perhaps even more likely, is that the contracts that Larson and Cumberbatch have with Marvel Studios do not stipulate voice-over work.
Perhaps fans will get their answer as promotion ramps up for not only What If...?, but also Cumberbatch and Larson's upcoming live-action projects for Marvel Studios.
What If...? begins streaming on Disney+ on August 11, 2021.