As per confirmed reports, Don Cheadle’s Armor Wars, a much-anticipated endeavor, is making way for a major transformative change. The project which was supposed to be a series is now being reimagined and redeveloped as a full-length feature. Needless to say, the creative decision is a brilliant plan of action taken by Marvel Studios. Shaking up the formulaic 6-episode format Disney+ is usually notorious for points at a potentially excellent premise.
This change has several implications and may be an attempt by Marvel Studios to attend to their past mistakes. With endeavors like Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, and Moon Knight, the pacing seemed to be the biggest drawback. Certain parts felt long-drawn-out, and others felt incredibly rushed. Clearly, the established format wasn’t helping the MCU narrative tell a profound story. In that regard, how exactly has Armor Wars transcended beyond such limitations? Let’s have a closer inspection.
The Problem With Disney+ MCU Series
The more, the merrier, right? Perhaps not in the case of the Disney+ Marvel shows. While most of these series have redeemable qualities, it still signals the mishaps that a constrained formulaic premise has caused. With MCU films, irrespective of the narrative, the pace is well-maintained as a cause of focusing on central aspects surrounding the film subject. In the case of the series, it becomes an effort to fit too many things into one show — perhaps out of the fear of no renewal.
Take, for example, Ms. Marvel. Besides the 6-episode structure that completely butchered specific plot points, we must take into account the problem the series’ villains were plagued with. Exposed to terrible pacing and lukewarm character arcs, the villains in the series felt far from threatening. The Clandestines barely had any time to develop themselves. Over the course of a few episodes, a lot happened in the shortest amount of time.
This left fans beyond disappointed. What could’ve mounted up to potentially one of the coolest groups of villains, turned out to be mere flukes. Something similar happened with both The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Moon Knight. The former introduced a group known as the Flag Smashers. Their underwhelming, nonsensible motives fell flat. A later attempt to humanize the characters made it seem half-hearted, unnecessary, and non-committal.
The latter, on the other hand, introduced villains that felt archetypal of the notions that the MCU seemingly can’t let go of – villains who seemingly have an objective that’s for the “greater good”, not because they simply “want to.” However, this particular flaw is more so engrained within the overarching MCU narrative. Hence, blaming the show’s format won’t do any good in this regard.
However, with every repetition, almost all villains from the Disney+ MCU series feel like a half-hearted attempt. It does not provide substantial reasons for us to resonate with the heroes of the plot. Instead, we are too busy figuring out either what happened or why something is not happening.
Moving beyond the 6-episode structure, we also have endeavors like WandaVision which actually could have benefited from a shorter run instead. The problem here lies beyond a base structure that needs to be mechanically followed. Each story has different requirements. It involves different characters, different motivations, and different villains – all with something unique to tell and offer to the premise. If we put constraints on how it should be formatted or presented, it may ruin numerous elements.
Similarly, an effort of doing too much and constantly adding fillers for audience spectacle should probably be stopped. And that takes us to the next point.
Another issue that has plagued the Disney+ MCU endeavors is the cameo problem. While it does build up hype or tease what the future is set to bring, it takes away all the attention from the character we are supposed to care about. Needless to say, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is grandly suffering from this flaw – with thousands of fans feeling bitter for the lack of Daredevil, as opposed to caring for the story Jen Walters has to tell.
At the end of the day, Marvel Studios must realize that the oversaturation of such elements and shows is the backbone of the “MCU Fatigue” that people seem to be experiencing. With redundant, over-repetitive plot points, the lack of well-fleshed-out characters, and minimized relevance of the main characters up for consideration, Don Cheadle’s Armor Wars not being a 6-episode series is quite an important change and a much deserved one.
Why Armor Wars Being A Film Is Significant
As per the much-discussed THR report, Armor Wars will shift from the 6-episode restrictions and transcend beyond the Disney+ MCU series reputation. This change, while highly celebrated, should’ve arguably been the plan from the get-go. Don Cheadle‘s James Rhodes is a character that the audiences have been familiar with for a while now. Armor Wars was planning to delve deeper into Rhodey’s psyche, an active attempt to further establish his character in the franchise.
Furthermore, the Yassir Lester-penned project would see War Machine become a character of his own, respecting Tony Stark’s legacy but rising above his shadow. With such aspects to account for, Armor Wars not being a series does more good than harm to the Don Cheadle endeavor. In fact, it works towards maintaining the focus on Rhodey, instead of having to stick to the prescribed norms of the Disney+ Marvel TV formula.
When we take into consideration the budget, the shows suffer a lot with a substantial decrease in such a crucial production area. The oversaturation of such a series debars the producers from investing in one great project at a time. What we then get in turn is a She-Hulk-esque CGI problem. Armor Wars will, hopefully, not be subjected to such threats.
As attested by the fans of the franchise, the news comes off as a great indication – Marvel Studios might finally be taking the constructive feedback and criticisms into account. Besides, a title like Armor Wars should definitely be receiving the movie-going treatment. The plot, as well, which will elaborate on what havoc may occur if the Stark Technology falls into the hands of the wrong person – is perfect for a theater experience, rather than a 6-episode weekly-awaiting one.
A perfect premise for a proper action-thriller, Armor Wars transitioning into a feature format will not only allow the spotlight to shine on Rhodey but potentially permit the studio to highlight other key characters – new or old, good or bad, heroes or villains.
Therefore, this latest revelation might honor Don Cheadle’s contributions to the franchise more than a Disney+ series could possibly have.
Armor Wars will begin production in 2023.