What if T'Challa was flying through the cosmos instead of sitting on Wakanda's throne? That's one of the alternate Marvel Cinematic Universe realities featured in the upcoming Disney+ animated series What If...?, based on the long-running Marvel Comics title. But the makers of the cartoon version made sure not to cast an alternate voice for T'Challa: Chadwick Boseman reprised his Black Panther role in a performance that was recorded prior to his death last year. The first trailer for the series, which premieres on Disney+ on Aug. 11, features a glimpse of the actor's final turn as his beloved Marvel hero. (Watch the trailer above.)
Only instead of embracing the mantle of Black Panther, this version of T'Challa got his galactic groove on as Star-Lord, a role occupied in the main MCU timeline by Peter Quill (Chris Pratt). The trailer doesn't reveal exactly how this swap came to happen, but one can assume that Mary Poppins-loving Ravager Yondu (Michael Rooker, who also provided his voice for What If...?) had something to do with it. Caught in the middle of a sticky situation, T'Challa tries to summon his mentor by sending up a verbal signal flare: "A Ravager never flies solo." Yondu goes on to show that while Ravagers never fly solo, they do take their sweet time showing up to help a friend in need.
As you might imagine, hearing Boseman's regal voice one more time — especially following reports that Ryan Coogler's sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, has started shooting — gave Twitter all kinds of feels.
Boseman isn't the only established MCU citizen who lent his voice to What If...? Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) and Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster) are among those confirmed to reprise their roles. However, both Robert "Iron Man" Downey Jr. and Chris "Captain America" Evans did not appear to record vocal tracks for their episodes prior to their superhero career-capping performances in Avengers: Endgame. The trailer teases an encounter between Tony Stark (seemingly voiced by a different actor) and Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), and an alternate World War II where Haley Atwell's Peggy Carter became Captain Carter thanks to a shot of Dr. Erskine's super-soldier serum.
Watching over this multitude of multiverses is none other than The Watcher, voiced by Jeffrey Wright. We got our first glimpse of these alien beings in a post-credits scene from Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 featuring dearly departed Marvel icon, Stan Lee. Wright — who is also playing Batman's pal, Commissioner Gordon, in Matt Reeves's upcoming The Batman — teased his all-seeing abilities on Twitter, further exciting fans about what's to come from What If...?
What If...? premieres Aug. 11 on Disney+.
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