Thanks to an Instagram user known as @the_insta_phils, we just got some news about the return of Don Cheadle to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a recent post, we can see film sets in London, which appear to be in production for the upcoming Disney+ show Secret Invasion. While first slides in the set of images show what appears to be a battle-damaged street, sharp eyes noticed a few telltale details. For one thing, there is a massive tentacled alien body in the middle of the street. That was one clue. And then there is a poster for Rogers: The Musical, the in-universe musical theater piece introduced in the recent Hawkeye series. But what was extremely interesting was Don Cheadle appearing in a newspaper headline, in character as James Rhodes/War Machine.
While Marvel Studios has thus far kept pretty quiet at who exactly is showing up in Secret Invasion, it seems pretty certain that we will be seeing Don Cheadle as War Machine soon. Check out the images here:
Don Cheadle has been part of the MCU since 2010, when he replaced Terrence Howard as War Machine. Since then, he has become an enormously important, if underrated part of Marvel movies. As James Rhodes, he has been both an ally and enemy of various Avengers and superheroes, not to mention having delightfully antagonistic chemistry with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man. His most recent appearance as the character was in the Disney+ animated show Marvel’s What If…?, where he played an alternate version of War Machine who is murdered by Michael B. Jordan’s Eric Killmonger. His most recent live-action appearance was in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, yet another Disney+ streaming show.
Now, it seems that we will be seeing Don Cheadle again soon. The Secret Invasion show is set to star several different versions of Samuel L.Jackson’s Nick Fury as well as Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, the alien Skrull leader. While details about the show have been scarce, it can be expected that will also be seeing Nick Fury’s aide-de-campe Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), and reportedly Game of Thrones actor Emilia Clarke has an undisclosed role. Given that the show is based on a famed Marvel Comics event by Brian Michael Bendis in which it is discovered that world leaders and heroes have been replaced by shape-shifting Skrulls, it feels like we will be seeing more familiar faces in the show. Of course, it might not really be them, but that’s Skrulls for you.
Don Cheadle is also set as the lead of another planned Disney+ show, titled Armor Wars. That one is an adaptation of a 1980s storyline written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton. It will be the first MCU project to star Don Cheadle, and will involve him dealing with the fallout of Tony Stark’s armor technology being let loose in the world. Assuming that the newspaper shot of James Rhodes in those Instagram pictures aren’t just an Easter Egg, hopefully we will be seeing his character back even earlier than expected.