Marvel Producer Reacts to Dave Bautista's Absence In Disney+'s What If

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Dave Bautista Watcher Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios just started the run of their very first animated series. The show in question is none other than What If..?, where each half-hour episode explores what would have happened if events in various MCU films had gone differently.

The opening installment focused on Peggy Carter, who, in that universe, ended up getting the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. The episode explores how the events of Captain America: The First Avenger would have played out if this were the case, and the resulting story gave birth to a new superhero in Captain Carter.

Part of the fun of the project is that many mainstay MCU actors reprised their roles. The first episode alone saw Haley Atwell and Sebastian Stan return as Peggy and Bucky. The second episode features T'Challa as Star-Lord, which sadly became one of Chadwick Boseman's final performances.

Recently, however, Bautista raised some heat against Disney when he claimed that he was never asked to reprise his role for the show. Speaking to one of the people in charge over at Marvel Studios, Variety was able to dig into the truth on the matter:


Dave Bautista Drax

Speaking to Brad Winderbaum, who is the Head of Streaming, television, and animation at Marvel Studios, Variety asked about Dave Bautista's recent claims that he had not been asked to reprise his role in the new animated MCU venture What If...?

Winderbaum responded by acknowledging that he "saw that, too," while saying that it was "[his] understanding that everybody  was asked in some way, shape or form:"

“I saw that, too... It’s my understanding that everybody was asked in some way, shape or form, either through their agents or directly. I don’t know really what happened behind the scenes there, but certainly, we would have loved for him to be in the show. So there’s probably some miscommunication somewhere.”

Drax TChalla Marvel's What If



It's no surprise that the whole thing may be chalked up to a miscommunication. Dave Bautista likes to talk a lot, especially recently; so it wouldn't be surprising if he had blown off some steam without collecting all the facts. Though, as much as he talks, the actor does have some merit when it comes to his criticisms of the MCU's portrayal of Drax.

Drax isn't the only character in the show to not have their original actor voicing them on screen. In the first episode, Steve Rogers is voiced by Josh Keaton instead of Chris Evans. The same goes for Natasha Romanoff, who is voiced by Lake Bell instead of Scarlett Johansson—which probably hits a little more awkward these days.

Thankfully, it's not all that notable yet, but then again, only one of the nine episodes has been released so far. At least fans will have Chris Hemsworth and more Thor shenanigans to look forward to, and apparently, Paul Rudd is set to be even more entertaining than usual.

What If...? streams weekly every Wednesday exclusively on Disney+.

- In This Article: What If...? (Season 2)
Release Date
December 22, 2023
Jeffrey Wright
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.