The Avengers film writers have used solo movies many times before to introduce new characters and storylines into the whole Avengers team plot. While some of the superheroes received solo projects to further develop their characters, there are still many others that have yet to be the star of their own movie. One of them happens to be one of our favorites, James Rhodes, and his superhero personality the War Machine.
What some people may not know, however, is that he almost got his own solo project. But, it didn’t get any further than the idea development stage. The Avengers production team shelved it before it ever got out of the starting gate.
What would a War Machine solo movie look like?
James Rhodes had a tight allegiance with the military, despite them not seeing eye to eye with his friend, Tony Stark and The Avengers. The movie that would’ve put the War Machine in the spotlight, was to explore the tension developing between Rhodes and the government as well as The Avengers.
While they made no concrete plans for the storyline, Don Cheadle, who plays Rhodes in Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3, says that it definitely would have explored that straining relationship.
He guessed that things would have gone badly between those two worlds. The result of that could have seen Rhodes as a fugitive or simply decommissioned from the military. But, the movie didn’t end up being developed after all, and the story plot went on the shelf untouched.
Why was the War Machine movie idea abandoned?
We’re not told for sure why the solo film for War Machine didn’t make it to the big screen, but there were a few clues along the way. They explored the tension in his relationship with the military officials and The Avengers a little bit in the Iron Man films when we see Rhodes’ loyalty to the government waning.
Then, in Captain America: Civil War, we see him siding with the government over the Sokovia accords, which didn’t go over well with Captain America. But, in The Avengers: Infinity War, we see Rhodes defy orders and refuse to arrest the superheroes.
Also, according to an article on comicbook.com, The Avengers: Endgame writers, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus toyed with the idea of making Rhodes the Vice President of the United States during the five-year break The Avengers took. Even though the idea didn’t make it to the final script, it would have made an interesting twist to whole Avengers vs. the government plot.
Could this have influenced the decision to abandon the War Machine solo film planned earlier? No one knows for sure, but it does make you wonder.
What is the future of the War Machine?
Disney hasn’t announced any plans yet, on what the future holds for the War Machine. We know he hasn’t received a lot of screen-time during The Avengers movies, but he played a key role in the Iron Man films. With Tony Stark, the Iron Man himself, gone, a new Iron Man-like character might have to step up in the new phase of Avengers.
Whether or not that will be the War Machine, remains to be seen at this point.
There were, however, some rumors that hinted at a possible Disney+ series starring the War Machine. They even led people to believe that the series was already in development. But, as of this writing, there hasn’t been any more mention of it, especially at the San Diego comic con or D23 when Disney+ confirmed other projects they had going on.
Was The Avengers: Endgame the last we’ll see of James Rhodes and his alter ego War Machine? With the passing of his friend, Tony Stark, one could easily surmise that he would simply walk away in grief. But, his ties to the remaining Avengers and his loyalty to his country would suggest otherwise.