Don Cheadle has been an MCU stalwart almost since the very beginning. He got his start in the franchise by replacing Terrence Howard as Colonel James Rhodes in Iron Man 2 all the way back in 2010. Since then, Cheadle’s Rhodey has appeared in several different films and shows, and has also frequently suited up as War Machine.
Rhodes will next be seen in Secret Invasion, an action-packed thriller series on Disney+ that centers on a Skrull infiltration of Earth. From there, he’ll make the jump to Armor Wars, which kicks off production next year and will presumably be something of a solo series for the character.
But does Cheadle plan on retiring from the role anytime soon? Or, at the very least, stepping away from playing the armored hero for a time?
Don Cheadle Discusses His MCU Contract
Speaking at D23 Expo this weekend, (via Variety) War Machine actor Don Cheadle confirmed that he’s finished with his contractual obligations with Marvel Studios, but noted that he’s open to additional MCU projects:
“I’m done with my contracted years in the MCU, so now, it’s just like, if something sounds fun and I’m presented with it, then yeah, let’s go.”
The actor also addressed the confidential nature of Secret Invasion and its story (also via Variety.)
“I’m so glad that somebody got the assignment. Secret is in the title. It’s not ‘Spoiler Invasion,’ it’s ‘Secret Invasion.’”
However, Cheadle was still pressed on details on his role in the series and had the following to offer, noting that the show itself will be “a lot of fun.”
“This is a fun one because this sets up what happens in Armor Wars. In the trailer, you see that he’s gonna confront Nick Fury. He and Fury are gonna go at it throughout this show as far as what they need to do, given what’s happened on this planet at this point. It’s kind of a thriller. It’s a different kind of show than you usually see in the MCU, which is great that we continue to change it up and switch it up. It’s a lot of fun.”
Will Fans See More of Rhodey?
It’s quite important to note that while Don Cheadle’s contract appears to soon be expiring, Marvel Studios prefers not to lock actors in to lengthy commitments anymore.
Longtime MCU fans may recall that back the early days, reports would surface of actors like Sebastian Stan and Samuel L. Jackson signing eight or nine film contracts with Marvel. Those days are gone, as the studio looks to foster an environment that will make talent want to come back for more and be excited to do so.
Cheadle has cropped up in seven different MCU productions as Rhodey, so he’s had quite the run so far. And given the above quote, it certainly seems that as long as the story is right, he’s more than willing to sign on for additional appearances.
And even if he chose not to return, Armor Wars looks to be a great showing for his character and will likely have much of the spotlight shining on him.
Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion will stream on Disney+ in early 2023, while fans can likely expect Armor Wars to drop sometime in 2024, although no official release date has been announced.