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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massive franchise. Marvel Studios revolutionized serialized storytelling, and introduced a massive pool of iconic characters. Avengers: Endgame will mark the 22nd installment in the property, but there are a few movies that never came to fruition over the last decade of filmmaking. No, I'm not talking about the ill-fated Inhumans flick, but a War Machine movie starring Don Cheadle.
Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay for Black Panther, but was originally tasked with penning an Iron Man spinoff for War Machine. Ultimately it got scrapped, but now we've got an idea regarding what the movie could have been. Don Cheadle himself recently opened up about the possible blockbuster, saying:
There was definitely going to be a lot of tension between his job as a military man and his allegiances to the code that he swore an oath to uphold, versus the changing world. I think they probably would have run afoul of each other a little bit, but I don’t know if he would have been a straight fugitive, or if he would have become decommissioned. But there was definitely going to be some tension between those two worlds.
Does anyone else have some serious FOMO right now? Because the War Machine movie sounds like an interesting an unique blockbuster for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Furthermore, it seems to tease the conflict that would eventually split the heroes in Captain America: Civil War. Do superheroes have the ability to work outside the law?
Don Cheadle's comments to EW are sure to illicit a mix of emotions from fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On one hand, it's exciting to get a glimpse into the development process of Marvel Studios, and see how things are constantly in motion. But considering how cool Cheadle's description of the doomed project is, there are no doubt cinephiles who are bummed War Machine's spinoff never happened.
War Machine has had an interesting tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, serving as a recurring supporting character alongside others like Black Widow and Falcon. Rhodes actually debuted back in 2007 with Iron Man, played by Terrence Howard. Howard ultimately dropped out after having fiscal differences with the studio, and Cheadler replaced him in Iron Man 2, which was also the movie where Rhodey became War Machine for the very first time.
According to earlier reports, this was when a War Machine was tossed around at the studio. Joe Robert Cole explained this process over a year ago, stating Iron Man 3 as the reason why the movie never got the green lit. As he told it:
At that meeting, they also said they were thinking of doing a War Machine movie. I pitched a concept and won that job to write the script but they decided, based on what Iron Man 3 was going to be, they weren't going to do War Machine anymore.
Talk about a bummer. While fans would no doubt have loved to see War Machine take the spotlight in his own solo movie, he never really got the chance. Instead, he'd reprise his role in Iron Man 3, Captain America: Civil War, as well as the Avengers movies.
You can catch him return to theaters when Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters on April 26th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.