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Don Cheadle Is Excited For Armor Wars To Finally Pull Back The Helmet On War Machine's Inner Life

After over a decade playing Colonel James Rhodes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Don Cheadle is excited for a long overdue exploration of his character in "Armor Wars."

Though he's been a core character in the MCU since the first "Iron Man" movie, Rhodes has never been explored in depth. His closeness with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has been highlighted, especially after Rhodes suffers a major injury in "Captain America: Civil War," but we don't know much about the Colonel beyond the fact that he's a soldier with a Stark suit and a loyal friend to Tony and some of the other Avengers. Though a War Machine movie was in talks back in 2011, it never materialized. Given Cheadle's renown as a multifaceted acting talent, it's surprising (and more than a bit eyebrow-raising) that he hasn't been given any real time to shine in the MCU.

That all changes with the upcoming movie "Armor Wars," in which War Machine will anchor the proceedings. In a recent interview, Cheadle spoke about his excitement for fans to finally see Rhodes as a fully fleshed-out character in his own right.

Armor Wars will explore James Rhodes' relationships, says Cheadle

During an interview published in the January 2023 issue of Total Film, Don Cheadle opened up about his excitement for "Armor Wars," which he promised will give MCU fans insight into the personal life of Colonel James Rhodes, aka War Machine. "I don't think we've ever really dug into him," Cheadle said, "and now it's an opportunity to really explore his emotional life, his interior life, his relationships, his trajectory, where he wants to go, what his challenges are."

While acknowledging that "Armor Wars" is still tied into the ever-expanding MCU, Cheadle said the interconnectivity wasn't the sole focus of the project. Rather, however exciting it is to be part of the historic franchise, the "White Noise" actor explained that crafting a compelling character was his central focus. "Obviously, you have to pay off the Marvel stuff," he said. "And be in the lore of the mythology of the character and the MCU in general. But trying to really build out this character and make him a three-dimensional dude ... is what the goal [is]. So I'm excited about that."

Originally slated to be a Disney+ series, "Armor Wars" was restructured into a feature film after the concept for the story proved to strain a television budget. Cheadle will also reprise his role as Rhodes in the upcoming "Secret Invasion" series on Disney+ alongside Samuel L. Jackson, marking the first time Jackson will take the lead after his own decade-long role as Nick Fury in the MCU.