Congratulations are in order for Don Cheadle, as it’s recently been revealed that Marvel is turning his forthcoming Disney+ series, Armor Wars, into a full-length feature film now.
The announcement was made on Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Those closely associated with the project said that because Marvel was dedicated to telling the story of Cheadle’s Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine character the best way possible, they felt it would be better as a movie instead of a series. The original production date for the show was set to begin next year, but with this new change in direction, things will presumably be pushed out. What this means and how it will affect Marvel’s overall Phase 5 timeline has yet to be determined. (For context, Phase 4 is expected to end with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever this November, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania kicking off the next phase next February.)
What is notable, however, is the fact that the MCU rarely takes things from one format and flips it and reverses it into another. So the fact that they felt it fitting to further flesh out Cheadle’s new storyline makes me very excited for the role it may end up playing as we enter into Phases 5 and 6. As usual, mum’s the word when it comes to specific plot details, but according to Marvel, the series was going to be an attempt to answer the question: What happens if Tony Stark’s tech falls into the wrong hands?
Speaking of Stark, this news has definitely gotten my wheels turning over a question I’ve been pondering for the last several weeks. What if—just hear me out, now—what if, they bring him back? Yes, I know Stark died in Avengers: End Game but think about it: we are now entering into the alternate realities, multi-verse, multiple variants portion of the game as exhibited by Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Loki and WandaVision. And Kevin Feige has said on numerous occasions over the last several weeks after D23 that “anything is possible in the multi-verse.” So if there was ever a more fitting place to drop some Easter eggs and/or teasers about Tony Stark’s future return—it would be in Armor Wars. I’m just saying! I know I can’t be the only one still reeling from his death after all these years, there’s gotta be some way to bring him back. If anyone can do it, Marvel can.
Stark aside though, I do want to reiterate how happy I am and how huge of a deal this is for Cheadle. It looks like Black men are having a moment in the MCU (Anthony Mackie/Captain America: New World Order, Samuel L. Jackson/Secret Invasions, Mahershala Ali/Blade, etc.) I hope the giant studio continues to give them the resources necessary to thrive.