Don Cheadle’s portrayal of James Rhodes in the MCU, while having been an established and ever-so-present element from the very start, is soon to see a well-fleshed-out premise in the upcoming projects Marvel is carefully curating. There’s more to the War Machine than what the Marvel Cinematic Universe has offered to show us till now.
After the demise of Tony Stark, fans have wondered whether or not Don Cheadle’s character, who happened to be the late billionaire’s best friend, would go on to take the esteemed mantle and become the next Iron Man. While theories and speculations have been widespread, the renowned actor himself cleared out the air regarding such rumors.
Don Cheadle Says Nobody Can Easily Replace Iron Man
At Disney’s D23 Expo, Don Cheadle was interviewed by Extra. One of the questions asked to the actor was what his reaction to the rumors regarding Rhodey replacing Tony Stark’s Iron Man is. To this, the Hotel Rwanda alum had “no comment” to make, as it was the first time he had heard of such a speculation.
When asked whether or not such a future would be imaginable for his character, Cheadle stated that “Rhodey is his own dude.” It is evident that the actor wants an intrinsic, organic identity to be associated with the skilled military pilot. To be handed down the Iron Man moniker would not only be a disservice to Rhodey’s individuality, but also Robert Downey Jr.‘s iteration of Tony Stark.
The actor elaborated furthermore:
“Rhodey is his own dude. I don’t think that anyone can really step into this… Tony Stark, Iron Man shoes. I think he did that as well as anyone could ever do it. But I think we’re going to learn a lot more about what Rhodey does want, and who he is, and what his sort of place and the firmament of MCU will ultimately be.”
Such a response can be used to substantiate MCU’s efforts into mapping out a distinctive future for the beloved character. The canon elements may see or allude to War Machine’s attempts in following up on the precedent left behind by Iron Man.
However, at the end of the day, Rhodey is a unique individual who has always followed a path of his own and plans to do so in the future as well – as attested by Don Cheadle who has perfectly embodied the role for years.
War Machine’s Future In Secret Invasion And Armor Wars
In the same interview, Don Cheadle talked of how there is definitely “a future” for War Machine within the threshold of the MCU. This is an allusion to his involvement in Secret Invasion, which will kick off Armor Wars – an endeavor fans have dearly anticipated.
When asked about the fan reception at D23, following the official teaser reveal for the premise that marks Samuel L. Jackson’s much-awaited MCU comeback, Cheadle affirmed how the heartwarming reaction of the fans is why the MCU keeps moving forward with such surprises through their array of series and films that span across various genres.
Furthermore, the actor reinstated how he plans to portray the growth of his character:
“To have the opportunity to take this character and deepen him, and go to places that we haven’t seen before with Rhodey is… is exciting. And I hope it’s something that, you know, people show up for.”
Armor Wars – What To Expect
When talking about the “thriller-y” aspects of Secret Invasion, Don Cheadle emphasized how the show “sets up Rhodey for Armor Wars.”
Therefore, fans have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming days of the MCU, with War Machine finally getting a chance to grow, evolve, and become a person of his own – straying away from an identity that relies on being a mere replacement.
Besides, as we all are aware by now, the character most likely to mount up to Iron Man’s legacy is none other than Ironheart. Dominique Thorne, who is set to don the role of Riri Williams, will make her anticipated debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
As for fans of War Machine, Don Cheadle is set to make appearances in Secret Invasion and Armor Wars. While the former is set to make its debut on Disney+ in early 2023, the latter is scheduled to go under production the same year.