Avengers: Endgame featured a major moment for Tony Stark’s character arc when he got to travel to the past and share a heart-to-heart with his late father Howard. It was a moving scene, but it begs the question: why did Marvel go to the trouble of de-aging John Slattery when they could’ve just rehired Dominic Cooper, who’s already played the young Howard Stark in Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter?
Cooper himself was asked this by MTV News’ Josh Horowitz over the summer but didn’t have a good answer. “I don’t know why I wasn’t in it,” he said. The British actor went on to half-admit that he hadn’t actually seen Endgame yet before backtracking on his statement, joking: “I’m trying to get employed by them again, please.”
.@DominicCoop wants that old thing back. We caught up with him and the cast of #Preacher at #ComicCon to discuss the series and learned that he’s baffled as to why he wasn’t cast in #AvengersEndgame after appearing as Howard Stark before #sdcc pic.twitter.com/NQzhVYbrz5
— MTV NEWS (@MTVNEWS) July 20, 2019
Joking aside, why didn’t Marvel get Cooper back for Endgame? As he hasn’t heard of his replacement before, it’s clear that they didn’t reach out and just couldn’t make it work due to scheduling conflicts. Going with Cooper would’ve saved a lot of money on CGI, after all.
Perhaps it was felt that Slattery made more sense to get back for the role in Avengers: Endgame as he’s the version of the character who has the connection to Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony, having appeared alongside him in Iron Man 2 and Captain America: Civil War. Plus, though they de-aged him, Slattery’s older years may have helped create the father/son dynamic on set better than it would have if the younger Cooper had been involved.
As the actor hints above, though, he’ll be back in the MCU soon as he’s due to lend his voice to Marvel’s What If…? animated series, at least appearing in the first episode which sees Peggy Carter be the one to get the super-soldier serum and become Captain Britain.