Don Cheadle Reacts to Criticism About the MCU's Downfall

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Don Cheadle, Marvel Studios

Don Cheadle has reacted to criticism of the MCU and its supposed recent downfall following Rhodey's Skrull reveal in Disney+'s Secret Invasion

In the post-Avengers: Endgame world, fans have been more critical of the MCU, with many expressing a belief the franchise isn't what it used to be.

Between the CGI, writing, absence of original heroes, massive content output, handling of the Disney+ series, and the mixed interest in the Multiverse Saga direction, there has been plenty of criticism toward the latest projects.

Don Cheadle Throws Shade at the MCU

Don Cheadle James Rhodes Secret Invasion

Following the release of Secret Invasion Episode 4, War Machine actor Don Cheadle liked a tweet that appeared to criticize the MCU, referencing the apparent downfall of the franchise's popularity and interest over the last few years. 

The post came from @filippoq01 who quote-retweeted a clip for Rhodey's Skrull imposter reveal from the episode with the caption, "7 years ago people would’ve gone crazy for this reveal btw."

For context as to where the MCU was seven years ago, that goes back to 2016 when the franchise was arguably in its prime as it saw the release of Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange

Although it's unclear the exact meaning behind the original post, it appears the user is implying interest in MCU projects was higher seven years ago than today, and thus such a major reveal would have drawn far larger reactions.

As such, it's certainly surprising to see Cheadle subtly show his support for a tweet seemingly throwing shade at the MCU and Rhodey's Skrull reveal.

Perhaps the biggest game-changer to come out of Secret Invasion was the reveal that Cheadle's James Rhodes, aka War Machine, had been replaced by the Skrull Raava, seemingly since Captain America: Civil War.

Cheadle already spoke on the Skrull twist shortly after the series wrapped up, sharing how it was "fun to fold that in" and show "what's happening underneath" Rhodey's scenes in Secret Invasion and other MCU projects.

Speaking with Variety, when asked about why Rhodey's Skrull impersonator was female, director Ali Selim revealed Don Cheadle contributed his "brilliant sense of logic, specificity, and acting prowess" to creating his big shapeshifter twist.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige also told the official Marvel site how Cheadle was "on board" for Rhodey becoming a Skrull:

“We needed to have a character that one would not expect to be a Skrull... Don [Cheadle] was on board for this reveal of playing and revealing another side of Rhodey and revealing that, yeah, Rhodey has been a Skrull.”

Did Don Cheadle Mean to Roast the MCU?

Don Cheadle's voice of support for such a blatantly anti-MCU message is curious, to say the least, especially as the actor has been a mainstay of the superhero franchise since 2010's Iron Man 2.

Chances are, Cheadle either misunderstood the meaning behind this tweet or liked it by accident, as it seems unlikely the actor would so openly acknowledge a post intended to be critical of the MCU as long as he remains a part of it.

By all accounts, it appears Cheadle gave his all to Secret Invasion and crafting Rhodey's big Skrull twist in a way that fits his character. This only reaffirms his dedication to the franchise going into his upcoming solo movie debut with Armor Wars, which has yet to set an official release date.

Secret Invasion is streaming now on Disney+.

- In This Article: Secret Invasion
Release Date
June 21, 2023
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.