Avengers: Endgame was a big film — a film that held more expectations from its audiences than most films in the last few decades. It was a big deal, as it should have been, seeing as it was set to wrap up a massive storyline that had been weaving together countless franchises for over a decade.
Thankfully, the film nailed it, at one point becoming the highest-grossing film of all time — a feat that the Russo Brothers and everyone else involved certainly deserved. Coming in at a whopping three hours long, the epic adventure was the largest undertaking by Marvel to date.
Of course, with a movie as big as Avengers: Endgame, lots of things changed throughout the production. For instance, Captain Marvel's suit got a redesign, and the fateful scene with Clint and Natasha on Vormir had been reworked a couple of times.
The process for making these Marvel films is a fluid one. One of those many changes that were made was the Rhodey's armor that he wore for most of the film.
WAR MACHINE'S ALTERNATE ENDGAME DESIGN
Artist Phil Saunders revealed that after wrapping up on Avengers: Endgame, he was called in to design a brand-new look for the suit that Rhodey would be wearing for the bulk of the movie.
According to Saunders, this change was made because of a certain scene between Rhodey and Nebula not working due to the bulkiness of their current suit design, a design that "eventually became Iron Patriot Mk 2."
"Originally in Avengers: Endgame, Rhodey and Nebula were meant to share an intimate moment of closeness. The scene was shot, and late in post-production the production realized that as shot, the bulky design chosen for War Machine's Mk 6 suit (the one that eventually became Iron Patriot Mk 2) would not fit as the actors were too close together."
Due to the last minute-ness of the request, Saunders revealed that he only "had a week to devote to the project."
"I only had a week to devote to the project, and quickly worked up four alternative concepts, of which one was chosen and finished up by my friend and colleague Rodney Fuentebella. The design had to be much more close-fitting than previous designs to fit into the shot, so I went for a much more streamlined aesthetic."
Concepts of Rhodey's suits that never made the cut can be seen below:
The first concept definitely feels more Iron Man-esque, as the lighting structure—the multiple small red lights— is very reminiscent of Tony Stark's suit in Captain America: Civil War.
The second design is the one whose design is the one with the most drastic changes out of the three revealed. The suit is very streamlined and sleeker than anything Rhodey has worn in the past. It also gives off some nanotech vibes, bringing to mind Tony's suit of choice in Avengers: Infinity War.
The final concept is the closest to what fans saw in Avengers: Endgame. The changes are very subtle, with one of the key elements being the red lights on the rib cage area. Other than that, most of the differences lie in linework throughout:
Here is a photo of the final design that made it into the film, courtesy of the Hot Toy for the character.
WAR MACHINE'S EVOLUTION AS AN AVENGER
War Machine's suits have always been notably different from Tony's, which has been great. Not only does it help distinguish the two, but the design language between the two has always been important. The War Machine suit is always bigger and bulkier, with its array of weapons being shown off, instead of hidden within the suit like Stark's.
Rhodey's armor in Avengers: Endgame was certainly his sleekest look yet, though he did go back to his usually heavy-hitter look in the final battle. That new Iron Patriot suit used in Endgame's final battle is just massive, and it's awesome that it was able to make it into the film.
Of course, the next time fans know they will see War Machine will be in the upcoming Disney+ show Armor Wars. Not much is known about the show, besides the simple premise of Stark's technology getting out there in the world. One would think that Rhodey is going to stick to his classic bulky style, but with Iron Man gone, who knows what War Machine will be going forward?