While the character of James Rhodes was first introduced to fans back in 2008's Iron Man, he wasn't played by Don Cheadle until Iron Man 2 a couple of years later. Affectionately called Rhodey by his peers and teammates, Rhodes is more than just Iron Man's best friend. Cheadle has appeared in films in the Iron Man, Captain America and Avengers franchises.
While Cheadle has said that he is finished with his Marvel contract, he's expelled that "if something sounds fun and [he's] presented with it" he'll come back as Rhodey more.
The last fans saw the character was in a cameo appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and they will see him next in 2023's Secret Invasion, both shows on Disney+. Soon, Rhodey will get his own movie, Armor Wars, though little is known about the project as of publication.
Don Cheadle on War Machine Exploration in the MCU
In an interview with The Guardian, James Rhodes (War Machine) actor Don Cheadle opened up about how he feels Rhodey's story hasn't been fully told in the MCU thus far.
When asked if he thinks that there's more to explore with Rhodey on screen, Cheadle argued that "there’s nothing that actually has been explored" about the War Machine hero so far:
"There’s nothing that actually has been explored. Who are his friends? What are his relationships? What does he want? I’m not complaining. But I don’t think we know anything yet."
Cheadle continued, excitedly hoping that specific information about his character might be given focus in future projects.
The Guardian: "So we’ll find out which side of the bed he sleeps on, and who with?"
Cheadle: "All that stuff. His favorite ice cream flavor. What his peccadilloes are."
What Rhodey-Focused Projects Are in the Works?
Fans might not have to wait too long to get this deeper exploration Cheadle is hoping for, as Rhodey will be appearing in the upcoming Secret Invasion Disney+ show.
Further, information about the Armor Wars movie — originally a Disney+ show — is continuing to be made public, giving fans all the more reason to get excited for Rhodey's future in the franchise.
Cheadle himself has teased a "rebirth" for his character with these new projects, particularly Armor Wars, implying that his hope is rooted in realistic expectations for his character moving forward. And with this movie being the first in MCU history to feature Cheadle as the headliner, it will allow for a deeper look at Rhodey than in any past project as he gets his first story focused squarely on his hero.
Secret Invasion will premiere on Disney+ in Spring 2023.