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Every New & Returning MCU Character

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Marvel’s What If episode 4.

Episode 4 of Marvel’s What If…? brought back a handful of familiar faces, not to mention voices. In a rarity, and unlike the first three episodes of the animated series, every returning MCU character is voiced by their live-action actor, with the episode introducing one new character to the MCU.

What If…? episode 4 is arguably the most emotional of the series so far, with Doctor Strange’s narrative being driven by heartbreak. As is the crux of the TV show, his arc as Doctor Strange still has the same inflection point, but it deviates in one significant way. That difference sends him down a much darker path than the Doctor Strange of the live-action MCU’s Sacred Timeline. The inevitability of his story mirrors the inevitability of death and makes for some truly poignant moments in the episode.


Related: The MCU Just Proved How Weak The Ancient One Really Was

Of course, that emotional impact would be nothing without the talented cast reprising their roles. While Doctor Strange is the central focus of the story, the others more than pull their weight. Here’s every returning and new MCU actor in What If…? episode 4.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange/Evil Doctor Strange

Marvel stalwart Benedict Cumberbatch returns to the role of Doctor Strange. This time, however, it’s a Stephen Strange who cares about someone else more than for himself; the tragedy is that it leads to a terrifying glimpse of what it might be like should Doctor Strange choose the way of the villain. Along with his work in the MCU, some of Cumberbatch’s best-known roles are voicing Smaug in the Hobbit franchise, playing Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock series, and Alan Turning in The Imitation Game.

Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer

Christine Palmer Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams reprises her role as Dr. Christine Palmer for the first time since 2016’s Doctor Strange. Her reduced role in that movie angered audiences, and it’s easy to see why. Irritatingly, What If…? episode 4 doesn’t do anything to advance her character, though Christine is the catalyst for everything that happens. Still, McAdams infuses Christine with a teasing, warm vibe that complements the arrogance of Cumberbatch’s Strange. McAdams is best-known for her roles of Regina George in Mean Girls, Allie in The Notebook, Irene Adler in the Sherlock Holmes movies, and Detective Ani Bezzerides in True Detective.

Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One

Quirky Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One is one of the few characters who doesn’t seem to be particularly different in this alternate universe. Though she grieves for her student, she sees Stephen Strange going down a dark path and knows it will lead to destroying the entire universe, hence her trying to dissuade him. Swinton has had a number of notable genre roles, including Gabriel in Constantine, the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia movies, and Eve in Only Lovers Left Alive, along with a number of Wes Andeson movies.

Related: The MCU Is Still Making The Same Mistake With Every Release

Jeffrey Wright as The Watcher

Jeffrey Wright’s Watcher, also known as Uatu, is the only character who has appeared in all four episodes of What If…? thus far as the narrator and guide through the multiverse. In What If…? episode 4, he takes a bigger role, even breaking his own code to step out of the shadows and confront Doctor Strange directly, a marker of just how significant Strange’s role in the universe is. As a veteran actor, Wright has been an audience favorite as Bernard Lowe in Westworld, Valentin Narcisse in Boardwalk Empire, Beetee in the Hunger Games movies, and Felix Leiter in Daniel Craig’s James Bond movies.

Ike Amadi as O-Bengh

Ike Amadi’s O-Bengh is the only new addition to the cast, appearing as a wise and aged sorcerer who keeps the mythical Library of Cagliostro in order. Like The Ancient One, O-Bengh tries to warn Doctor Strange away from his foolhardy plan, but the grieving doctor is too far gone to listen. Amadi is an accomplished voice actor, having voiced roles like M’Baku in Avengers Assemble, Detective Scott in the Tales of Arcadia series, and in over five dozen video games.

What If…? Episode 4 Supporting Cast & Characters

What If Episode 4 Cast guide

Benedict Wong as Wong – Benedict Wong returns as the Master of the Mystic Arts. Along with his recurring MCU role, Wong can be seen as Master Lin in TV series Deadly Class and Kublai Khan in Marco Polo, and in movies like The Martian, Annihilation, and Prometheus.

Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart – Bibb once again returns to the MCU in Marvel’s What If…? episode 4 to voice reporter Christine Everhart, who has appeared in the MCU since 2008’s Iron Man. Bibb has also had significant roles in TV shows like Crossing Jordan and Jupiter’s Legacy, and movies like Tag, The Babysitter movies, and No Good Deed.

Next: What If…? Episode 3: 5 Big Questions About The Multiverse Avengers

Marvel’s What If…? releases new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023

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