MCU Leak Reveals How Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man Will Play Into Disney+'s What If...? Show

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Tessa Thompson Valkyrie Robert Downey Jr Tony Stark What If

Marvel Studios is set to bring one of its most unique projects ever to the MCU with this summer’s What If…?, which will be the franchise’s first dip into animation. While the rest of Phase 4 will largely focus on expanding into the future, this show will take a deep dive into the MCU’s past and explore everything that could have been with movies from the Infinity Saga.

Nearly every actor that’s been involved with the MCU through the first thirteen years will be back to reprise their roles, including stars like the late Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa. However, one of the only actors to not be officially confirmed for a return yet is Robert Downey, Jr., even though Tony Stark was seen for a split second in the show’s first trailer from Disney Investor Day.

It’s clear that the MCU’s original hero will see his time in the spotlight in What If…?, which was confirmed by a recent toy leak as well.


The French website for Amazon has prematurely revealed a look at a LEGO set for Marvel Studios' What If...?, which releases on Disney+ in August 2021.

What If LEGO

This set shows the story of Thor: Ragnarok, but changed to have the What If...? scenario of Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark being stranded on Sakaar instead of Bruce Banner. 

What If LEGO

Figurines are included for Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark, Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, and Jeffrey Wright's The Watcher. Tony even appears to be wearing his Black Sabbath shirt from The Avengers, which could bring that film into play for this story as well.

What If LEGO

Tony Stark looks to have built a new version of the Hulkbuster armor from Avengers: Age of Ultron, complete with metals and materials from Sakaar.

What If 4

Incredibly, it looks to be implied that the Hulkbuster armor can transform into some sort of car that can navigate its way through the alien planet. Could this be a hint of the Transformers movies coming into the MCU?

What If LEGO

The Hulkbuster armor looks to be a massive piece of the LEGO set, understandably so considering its size in the MCU.

What If LEGO

Tony Stark looks set to be taking on an entirely new challenge on Sakaar with Valkyrie in tow and the Watcher looking over the planet. Thankfully, the Hulkbuster suit should serve him well in this unknown environment.


Even considering the crazy stories that are set to come in this wacky series, this comes as one of the more unpredictable entries with Tony taking a new trip into outer space.

The MCU's OG hero will clearly have full use of his genius intelligence as he finds a way to navigate the savage wasteland that is Sakaar. It seems as though he will be taking the place of Bruce Banner in this scenario and could end up as the Grandmaster's champion, although it will be interesting to see how far his ego takes him in uncharted territory.

There are no details on how Tony gets to Sakaar or why he's there, but this will bring a new take on the character after everything he experienced in Phases 1-3, especially alongside Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie. Whatever becomes of this episodes, fans will be in for quite the treat when Iron Man finds his way outside his home galaxy.

What If...? will premiere on Disney+ in Summer 2021.

- In This Article: What If...? (Season 2)
Release Date
December 22, 2023
Jeffrey Wright
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.