Don Cheadle's War Machine Series For Disney+ Has Taken A Big Step Forward

Don Cheadle as War Machine in Avengers: Endgame

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James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Tony Stark’s best friend, has been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since it launched in 2008 with Iron Man, with Don Cheadle taking over the role from Terrence Howard in 2010’s Iron Man 2. That was also when that version of the character suited up as War Machine for the first time, and since then he’s been a supporting superhero in the MCU across numerous movies. Now Cheadle’s Rhodey is finally getting the spotlight to himself for Armor Wars, and it’s been announced that the upcoming Disney+ series has taken a big step forward behind the scenes.

Yassir Lester, who’s already crossed worked with Don Cheadle on the Showtime series Black Monday, has been hired to be Armor Wars’ head writer. Along with his work behind the scenes on Black Monday as a writer and executive story editor, he’s also recurred on the series as Yassir X. Lester’s other writing credits include Girls and Earth to Ned, while his on-camera resume includes Making History, Champions, Duncanville, black-ish and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

While Armor Wars is still early into the development process and a director still isn’t attached yet, Yassir Lester being hired as the series’ head writer is a notable update. Deadline reports that Lester’s pitch for Armor Wars “excited execs as well as Cheadle,” so he’s already off to a good start with his time in the MCU. Armor Wars was one of three MCU series announced for Disney+ last December, alongside Ironheart and Secret Invasion.

This news comes five months after Don Cheadle appeared as James Rhodes in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s premiere episode, which earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. Before that, War Machine was one of Avengers: Endgame’s starring characters, as he survived Thanos’ snap and embarked on the Time Heist with his fellow superheroes to undo the Mad Titan’s genocide. He was also by Tony Stark’s side as he died after using the Infinity Stones to wipe out Thanos and his army.

All that’s been announced so far about Armor Wars’ plot is that it will explore what would happen if Tony Stark’s technology ended up in the wrong hands. The original Armor Wars storyline from the comics unfolded across Iron Man #225-#232 from 1987 to 1988, although in that instance, it was Tony himself who was hunting down the perpetrators. With Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony gone in the MCU, so it’ll be up to Rhodey to ensure that his late friend’s technological creations aren’t used for malevolent purposes.

While we await more updates on Armor Wars’ progress, you can watch WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki Season 1 on Disney+ now, so make sure you’re subscribed. The first two episodes of the animated series What If… ? are also on the streaming service. Learn what else the MCU is sending to the small screen with our upcoming Marvel TV shows guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.