‘Avengers: Endgame’: War Machine Could Have Had a Much Better Story Than the One He Got

Poor War Machine. First he can’t get a hot Oscar nominee to keep playing him. Then he’s lucky enough to get another Oscar nominee to play him, then he gets blown out of the sky by friendly fire. 

Then on top of all that, he has to suffer the indignity of having a compelling storyline cut out of Avengers: Infinity War but at least he’s not alone there. Still, some fans feel if he wasn’t going to get a decent ending, maybe he should have died tragically. 

From Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle 

Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle | Rich Fury/Getty Images

War Machine, the counterpart to Tony Stark’s Iron Man, was played by Terrence Howard in the first Iron Man in 2008, not long after he got an Oscar nomination for Hustle and Flow.  It’s hard to forget the irony of the moment when Howard looked over at a prototype of his suit and said, “Next time, baby!” 

Except when next time came around, in Iron Man 2, it was Don Cheadle who was wearing the suit and not Howard. What happened to Howard has become one of those “it depends on who you talk to” stories, but if you talk to Howard, he put the blame squarely on Robert Downey Jr., according to Business Insider

“They came to me with the second and said, ‘Look we will pay you 1/8th of what we contractually had for you because we think the second one will be successful with or without you.,'” Howard said, adding “I called my friend that I helped get the first job and he didn’t call me back for three months.”

War Machine breaks down

So except for the first Iron Man, War Machine has been played by Cheadle, who himself is an Oscar nominee for the film Hotel Rwanda. However, he tended to stay to the sidelines. Perhaps that’s what he’s meant to do as a supporting character, but some fans still think he got a raw deal, especially when a dramatic arc finally affected him. 

In Captain America: Civil War, Rhodey was critically injured after being caught in Vision’s fire meant for Falcon in the battle between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man.

The fight left him paralyzed to Sam’s great regret, but the movies never seemed to dwell on this much, although it wasn’t for lack of trying.

According to Cinemablend, Avengers: Infinity War was going to deal more with the aftermath of this incident, with Rhodey operating the War Machine suit remotely. Still, Infinity War and Endgame were such sprawling movies with so many plot threads, that there simply wasn’t room or time to fit them all, even with Endgame ultimately running three hours. 

Fans say a Disney+ series could fix War Machine

Fans on Reddit generally thought War Machine was something of a lost opportunity on Marvel’s part, with one fan saying, “I feel like it may have been better if they killed off Rhodey in Civil War.

His injuries had no effect on the story and they haven’t done anything with his character since then, he’s just been there as a familiar face. That’s why a War Machine Disney+ show is probably my most wanted show right now, because it would at least give him SOMETHING to contribute.

As it stands, War Machine made it out of Endgame alive, although it is not known when he might appear again. The upcoming Falcon and the Winter Soldier seems like the most logical place, as one fan suggested. 

“Have him be trying to rebuild the avengers, he never has to suit up, just have him be the guy providing support for F&WS. All of them have a military background so I think they would be on good terms. Plus the partners of Cap & Tony working together would be great,” one fan suggested.