What if...? Steve Rogers wasn't Chris Evans? No, that's not the story at the center of the Disney Plus series' first episode (spoiler warning for some other casting in that episode, by the way) — but it's what my ears wondered as I watched.
As our sister sites TotalFilm and GamesRadar (opens in new tab) learned from Marvel's What If...? director Bryan Andrews, What If...? was not able to get everyone on their wish list for the animated show's cast.
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"We had a certain degree of freedom," Andrews noted. "Schedules are crazy, so it’s really hard to get everybody."
Andrews went on to talk about the work that voice actor Josh Keaton (who voiced a plethora of roles in the recent Spider-Man animated series, as well as Scott Lang/Ant-Man in a recent Ant-Man animated series) did to replace Evans.
After noting that the replacement actors "we had come in to take over did a fantastic job," Andrews explained a little about the process.
He stated that you need "the actor [to] bring a little something to themselves. I’m not just doing an impression. It’s not about impressions, right? They have to actually act the moments and deliver some of the emotional intent."
And before you proceed, remember: spoiler warning!
Another reason why What If...? without Evans works
With that work, with that character, you feel the connection that Keaton's Cap has with Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter. And, oddly enough, it's not exactly disruptive to not have Chris Evans voice Steve Rogers.
All the while in What If...? Episode One, you'll notice constant reminders about how this isn't the "correct" timeline. And so for Rogers to sound different? It almost pales in comparison to the rest of what happens in the series.
That said, we're lucky that What If...? landed Atwell and other familiar voices, including those of Samuel J. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Stanley Tucci.
What If...? Episode One also works well because of the ending, with Carter going through an inter-dimensional gateway. Those who watched Loki with an eagle-eye know Carter appeared in the TVA at one moment. That moment of Carter crossing over raised my eyebrows about what's to come in the MCU.