Avengers: Endgame has been in theaters for three weekends, but the blockbuster is still on everyone’s lips. The Russo Brothers crammed a ton of exciting twist and characters into the massive blockbuster, essentially ending the narrative that began with Iron Man. Given the state of the MCU and it’s unknown future, there’s been some reflection on the past 22 movies and decade of filmmaking.
James Rhodes is a character that debuted back in Iron Man, although he was originally played by Terrence Howard. Don Cheadle ended up taking on the role starting with Iron Man 2, which saw Rhodey become the superheroic War Machine. One Twitter user recently asked Cheadle why his character picked up piloting armor so much easier than Tony Stark, and he said:
Tony Stark may have been the first Marvel hero to armor up and save the day, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily came easy to him. Iron Man showed RDJ struggle with the suit’s abilities, especially when it came to flying. Meanwhile, Rhodey jumped in with relative ease.
Don Cheadle’s Tweet shows how methodically the 54 year-old actor has thought out his long tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While fans seem eager to find plot holes or potential goofs in the shared universe, Cheadle knows exactly why his signature Avenger was able to adjust to wearing Tony’s suit so quickly. It all has to do with his piloting background, and Tony’s programming in making each suit intuitive to its user.
War Machine is one of the first heroes to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has remained relevant presence in the MCU since taking on the mantle. In addition to his appearances in Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Rhodey had a particularly very strong outing in Phase Three.
He was an influential voice in the drafting of the Sakovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War, taking Tony Stark’s side and urging the other Avengers to follow suit. He eventually participated in the tarmac battle, and sustained a major injury in the process. He now bares the physical scars from that scuffle, in addition to feelings of guilt.
War Machine provided both comedy and action in Avengers: Infinity War, helping to defend Wakanda from Thanos’ forces in the film’s third act. While unable to stop the Mad Titan himself, Rhodey got lucky and managed to survive Thanos’ finger snap of death. He’s go a meaty role in Endgame as a result, as the spotlight focuses on the survivors and their shared grief.
It should be interesting to see what comes next for War Machine. The future of the MCU is largely a mystery– at least until Spider-Man: Far From Home arrives and completes Phase Three. But considering which characters perished in Endgame, it might be a time for Rhodey to have an even bigger presence in the shared universe.
Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.