Mick Wingert's Iron Man Voice Recast Explained: Why Robert Downey Jr. Got Replaced

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Iron Man

Tony Stark's Iron Man has returned to the MCU's center stage but without Robert Downey Jr.

Thanks to the Multiverse, Iron Man was back mixing it up with the Avengers and coming face to face with the Grandmaster on Sakaar in What If...? Season 2's Christmas Eve and Christmas Day episodes

However, unlike his fellow Avengers stars, it's not Robert Downey Jr. bringing his iconic character to life on Disney+ but rather voice actor Mick Wingert. 

Why Mick Wingert Replaced Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr.

Grandmaster and Tony Star in What If Season 2

Just like in Season 1 of What If...? on Disney+, Mick Wingert voiced Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man instead of Robert Downey Jr. himself. 

While it is true that What If...? is an animated streaming series and not a live-action MCU project, the bulk of Marvel Studios stars returned to voice their characters, including Thor's Chris Hemsworth, the Hulk's Mark Ruffalo, Hawkeye's Jeremy Renner, and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury.

However, that does not mean Downey Jr. is the only original Avenger to sit this series out. 

Black Widow's Scarlett Johansson did not lend her voice for the show either, being replaced by voice actress Lake Bell.  

The reason appears to be two-fold. Not only did both Johannson and Robert Downey Jr.'s live-action characters sacrifice themselves in Avengers: Endgame and have since retired from the MCU, but these A-list stars aren't cheap. 

The cost of bringing them out of retirement and voicing their animated counterparts may have been too steep, and choosing to rely on voice actors was likely a considerable saving for the studio. 

Still, that's not to say replacing Downey Jr. with Mick Wingert has been seamless. 

The longtime voice talent, whose credits range from Kung Fu Panda: The Legend of Awesomeness to Disney's The Princess and the Frog, first replaced Adrian Pasdar as Iron Man in the Avengers Assemble animated series and has continued to voice Stark in Marvel: Contest of Champions, Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled, Marvel Rising, Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more. 

But again, filling Robert Downey Jr.'s role is no small feat. And, while Mick Wingert has captured the actor's signature tone, cadence, and even swagger, there are a few noticeable differences, particularly in terms of pitch. 

The Future of Mick Wingert's Iron Man Role

Since the credits first rolled on Avengers: Endgame, fans have debated whether Robert Downey Jr. will one day return to the MCU and if he should.

But despite relatively recent rumors of a comeback, for now, it looks like the exit of both Robert Downey Jr. and the sacrifice of the live-action Tony Stark will remain intact. 

Regardless of which camp fans belong in terms of an Iron Man resurrection, animated projects like What If...? and talents like Mick Wingert are a win for everyone.

Not only is more Tony Stark storytelling within the MCU possible, but it's believable, and without taking away from Robert Downey Jr. or Endgame's stakes. 

The question now is whether Marvel Studios intends for Mick Wingert to continue replacing the Iron Man actor in future animated projects, such as Marvel Zombies.

New episodes of What If...? Season 2 will continue to drop each day on Disney+ through December 30, 2023. 

- In This Article: What If...? (Season 2)
Release Date
December 22, 2023
Jeffrey Wright
- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.