Don Cheadle Throws Shade At Marvel for Black Panther Absence

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Don Cheadle James Rhodes Black Panther

Don Cheadle gave his honest thoughts about not appearing as James Rhodes in Marvel Studios' Black Panther films.

Cheadle has prominently appeared as Rhodey in six MCU films, starting from Iron Man 2 to Avengers: Endgame. The actor's brief presence in Captain Marvel's post-credits scene should also count, making it seven movies. 

However, the actor has yet to appear in Black Panther movies, despite his important inclusion in Wakanda during the climactic battle in Avengers: Infinity War

Don Cheadle Wishes to Appear in Past Black Panther Films

Don Cheadle and Nick Fury

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, War Machine actor Don Cheadle revealed his desire to appear in either Black Panther or Black Panther: Wakanda Forever with Nick Fury star Samuel L. Jackson. 

Cheadle threw shade at Marvel due to his and Jackson's absence in the Black Panther movies, noting that they "should have been in Wakanda together:"

"Like Sam, I had a big chip on my shoulder — we thought we should have been in Wakanda together. We thought, 'Really? You're not going to pull us into Wakanda? Perfect opportunity.'"

Despite that, the MCU veteran is grateful that he got to work with Jackson in Secret Invasion

"But we're very glad to have had the chance to do it in this. I've been wanting to work with Sam for many, many years."

In a separate interview with Rolling Stone this month, Samuel L. Jackson pointed out that Nick Fury should've been in Wakanda, mentioning that the former SHIELD director could've discovered the African nation: 

“They didn’t let me go to Wakanda, which I was kind of upset about. How could Nick Fury not know about Wakanda? They said, ‘Well, you do know but you can’t go.’”

Will James Rhodes Finally Appear in Black Panther 3?

Don Cheadle's desire to appear in Black Panther movies may indicate that he could at least talk to Marvel Studios about potentially joining the next big-screen installment featuring Wakanda. 

Given the success of the Black Panther movies in Black representation, it would be fitting to see more MCU stars like Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, and Samuel L. Jackson pop up in Black Panther 3

In Secret Invasion, Cheadle confirmed that Rhodey is the new "righthand to the president" of the United States of America. If this position continues after the Disney+ series, then there's a chance that War Machine could visit Wakanda for political reasons. 

In fact, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's ending already set up a possible conflict between Wakanda and the United States, considering the damage that Namor had done to the reputation of the African nation. 

Black Panther and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever are both streaming on Disney+.

- In This Article: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Release Date
November 11, 2022
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.