James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine may be second fiddle to Iron Man, but the Russo Brothers thought he was important enough to keep alive for Avengers: Endgame. What’s interesting is, there were actually plans to make a War Machine film, but they were eventually scrapped.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Don Cheadle talks about the scrapped War Machine film:
“We kicked it around a bit. 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.”
If you’re wondering at what point in the timeline the film would have fallen in, War Machine would have actually happened around the time of Phase 2, before they started making plans for Iron Man 3. Originally Joe Robert Cole (Black Panther) was supposed to write the project, and he told Complex last year:
“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. But they asked if I’d be interested in joining their writer’s program instead.”
Seeing that Black Panther has now become the beacon for black superhero films, it’s curious what we would’ve gotten if Rhodey got the spotlight first. Admittedly we don’t really get much development from War Machine despite a lot of things happening to him, but maybe now Marvel is going to be more open about giving side characters the spotlight.
Catch Rhodey in Avengers: Endgame when it comes out April 26.