Few characters have gotten a more definitive send-off in the public eye than Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, whose big, dramatic death at the end of this summer’s Avengers: Endgame was definitely not just an effort to ditch out on Gwyneth Paltrow so that he could spend the rest of his retirement talking it out with chimps. But lest you thought you were completely safe from Stark’s egotistical charms, Disney+ is here to remind you that none of us will ever be completely free of his smirkingly winning brand of heroism.
This is per Coming Soon—reporting on a quote that Jeff Goldblum let slip to the puppies of Buzzfeed—revealing that Downey will be returning to his longest-running role for an episode of the upcoming animated Disney+ adaptation What If…?. Disney had already revealed a pretty bonkers voice cast for the series—which will revisit pivotal moments in MCU history to explore what might have been—with Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, and many more franchise stars returning to voice their characters. (Jeffrey Wright, meanwhile, will narrate as the ominous Uatu The Watcher.) But both Downey Jr. and Chris Evans were pointedly absent from the list, with the implication that Tony Stark and Steve Rogers were both done with their superhero antics.
But no. Per Goldblum:
I went to the Disney studios and I recorded the Grandmaster’s voice for an episode of a show that’s gonna be on Disney+ that’s called What If…? It’s an animated version of all the characters we know and love from Marvel and this episode included the Grandmaster and Iron Man, so Robert Downey will do a voice for that, and Korg. Taika Waititi had already recorded his voice for that, so yeah, for a couple hours I enjoyed doing that.
All of which sure makes it sound like they’ll be doing something along the lines of “What if Iron Man got sent to the space arena instead of Thor?”, which sounds like exactly the sort of fun question we’ve been hoping this show might address—even if we have to reportedly wait until 2021 to see how it all plays out.