Don Cheadle has portrayed James Rhodes, aka War Machine, in seven films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First appearing in the Iron Man films as a supporting character, he would later go on to be a main cast member of the third and fourth Avengers films. With Iron Man gon and Robert Downey Jr’s exit from the MCU, I believe the series needs a strong lead actor to help steer the next phase of this universe. I also believe that the MCU has this actor already in Don Cheadle. I’m going to list the reasons below why Cheadle should lead the MCU as War Machine or as a new Iron Man.
He’s a Mainstay in The MCU
Having appeared in numerous MCU films already, audiences are already familiar with Cheadle as War Machine. Cheadle has been in the MCU longer than some of the original Avengers cast, first appearing in 2010s Iron Man 2. Having him step into the space held by Robert Downey Jr. probably wouldn’t be as big a pill to swallow for fans as say, having an entirely new actor at the forefront of the MCU.
He Has The Acting Chops
Don Cheadle is one of the most accomplished actors in the MCU, graduating from California Institute of Arts with a bachelor of fine arts — Cheadle would go on to become an Oscar nominated actor. And if you have any reservations about Cheadles leading man capabilities look no further than his performances in Showtimes House Of Lies or the more recent Black Monday for proof that he easily, and gracefully, lead a cast. His performance as Marty on House of Lies Garnered a Emmy award.
An Iron Man That is Man And Machine
When we last saw War Machine in Avengers Endgame he was equipped with robotic attachments on his legs to help with injuries sustained in Captain America: Civil War. I can’t help but think of the possibilities for a Iron man that is almost cyborg like. Perhaps we could see a comic accurate version of Extremis introduced to the MCU for Rhodey to use, healing his body and helping him become a new and improved Iron Man. I could see that as something Tony Stark Could’ve been developing for his best friend before his untimely demise. Rhodes could use this technology to continue his best friends crusade to save the world. This would also continue the trend of “passing on the torch” in the MCU post Endgame, seen in Spider-Man: Far From Home and the upcoming Falcon and Winter Soldier.
More Diversity Is Always Good
Diversity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come a long way since the first Avengers film, which had the team mostly consist of Caucasian males. Anthony Mackie is all but set to be the new Captain America, Chadwick Boseman will return as Black Panther, and if Don Cheadle was to take center stage as War Machine or a all new Iron Man there would be three African American men at the forefront of a potential new Avengers team.
What do you think ? Is Don Cheadle the right person to help lead the MCU into its next phase? And should he do it as War Machine or as Iron Man? Let us know in the comments and as always thanks for reading!