The Real Reason Marvel Fans Still Want a War Machine Movie Starring Don Cheadle

Marvel fans want a War Machine movie for a lot of reasons, but in the end it all comes down to one simple thing: they want a new Iron Man because the old Iron Man is gone.

By now, Robert Downey Jr. has made it clear he’s done with Iron Man. The character has served him very, very well, but he has run his course and bringing him back now (aside from maybe a voice role) would cheapen Tony Stark’s sacrifice.

So since we can’t have Iron Man anymore, fans reason, we can have an Iron Man spinoff. War Machine is the most logical way to go, but not the only way. 

Why do fans want War Machine?

Don Cheadle with Stephen Colbert
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Don Cheadle | Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

On Reddit, an MCU fan asks, “Anyone else curious or wanna see the continued stories of Rhodey/War Machine?” Turns out a lot of people were, with a typical response being “Indeed, BOOM, we WERE lookin for this.”

Another fan gave a detailed reason why it would be a good idea, writing, “I’d watch. In Iron Man 2 they said that several countries would have IM armor within 10-15 years, so it’d be interesting for them to follow up on that.” Another fan replied to that person, saying, “far from home already takes place 14 years after (Iron Man 2), so its time.”

Marvel has already announced series devoted to secondary characters like She-Hulk. Moreover, a series devoted to supporting characters, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, has just started shooting. If those characters  can get their own series, then War Machine surely could do. 

War Machine has a fraught history in the movies

Getting War Machine off the ground was difficult at first. In the original Iron Man, the role of Rhodey was played by Terrence Howard, who was on a hot streak in the mid-2000s. Having starred in the Best Picture Winner Crash, Four Brothers, and especially Hustle & Flow, he was a good choice to play the man who would be War Machine. He even makes reference to it in the film, looking over at his suit and saying “Next time, baby,” 

Only next time, it was Don Cheadle instead of Terrence Howard. Back in its early days, Marvel Studios wasn’t quite as well oiled a machine, and disagreements with actors would surface, like the ones between Edward Norton and Natalie Portman, who, respectively, left the franchise and had to be persuaded to return. But Howard’s departure may have been the most fraught of all. 

Howard himself came down to that green-hued monster, money, and per Business Insider,  he threw Downey under the bus, saying “It turns out that the person I helped become Iron Man … when it was time to re-up for the second one took the money that was supposed to go to me and pushed me out.” Howard said he ended up being offered a minuscule amount for the sequel in comparison to the first film.

So Cheadle took over and stuck with the part. Now that he has, there’s a chance his movie/series could come about quite easily. 

Ironheart is another possibility

Another wrinkle is that there has been talk of a series about Ironheart, who in her everyday life is a young science wiz named Riri Williams. She builds her own Iron-Man-style suit and with Tony Stark’s blessing, becomes a superhero herself. 

An Ironheart script is on the famed blacklist of hot unproduced screenplays, and no less than Downey himself declared he’s all in favor of the idea. So at this point, an Ironheart series or movie seems like it could be even more likely than a War Machine movie.

One of the fans on Reddit pointed out, “If there’s any truth to the whole “Iron Heart” rumors, I’m sure that they would use Rhodey there. They’d probably split it like the proposed Clint/Kate Hawkeye show coming up seeing as how he’s her uncle.”

So an Ironheart project could give rise to a War Machine project just as easily as War Machine could give rise to an Ironheart project. Either way, Iron Man/War Machine/Ironheart fans could be made happy in one fell swoop.