Don Cheadle’s Marvel Role Will Now Have Him As One Of The Most Powerful In The World

Don Cheadle's Rhodey will be more powerful than ever in the Secret Invasion series.

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

armor wars

Even though studios are worried about superhero fatigue (and rightfully so), James Gunn just proved that audiences will still show up for the right movie with the successful opening weekend for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The buzz surrounding that film has supercharged excitement for upcoming MCU projects, including the Disney+ show Secret Invasion which drops on June 21. And Entertainment Weekly reports that this show will reveal that Don Cheadle’s character James “Rhodey” Rhodes is now insanely powerful because he is the “righthand to the president.”

What is Secret Invasion about, though? Serving as a loose adaptation of the Marvel comic of the same name, this series focuses on Nick Fury trying to track down shapeshifting Skrulls who have infiltrated the planet and are planning something nefarious for humanity. However, Fury often has his own agenda, and concerns about what he’s really up to eventually cause him to clash with the American government in general and Don Cheadle’s Rhodey specifically.

There are many reasons to be excited about seeing this onscreen confrontation, but one of them is very shocking: Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson have never acted onscreen together. They have starred in multiple Marvel movies together going all the way back to the second Iron Man film, in which Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as Rhodey. But the two never got to share any screen time, and it sounds like that is going to change in a big way thanks to the upcoming show.

Offscreen, Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson have been friends for a very long time, and they agreed that the two of them acting together onscreen was something that should have happened long ago. And Cheadle couldn’t stop gushing over his fellow actor, praising Jackson for his “layered performance” and said that audiences would be able to “really get to see why he’s such a revered actor.”

Samuel L. Jackson

This is especially reassuring considering that Samuel L. Jackson is the primary star in a show that sounds very different from recent Marvel movies such as Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania or Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

To hear Don Cheadle tell it, Secret Invasion “feels much closer to a movie like Bourne Identity or something that’s more along the tone of a ’70s movie.” He positively contrasts this with Marvel projects that focus on “the bells and whistles of big special effects,” insisting that this show will focus more on “the intrigue and drama” and “the espionage and double-crosses” (which are basically inevitable when the bad guys can literally look and sound like anyone).

In many ways, this TV show sounds similar in tone to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a perfect throwback political thriller that just happened to have superheroes in it.

And while Secret Invasion is mostly focused on Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury character, we are excited to see some new faces, including Game of Thrones fan-favorite character Emilia Clarke as she officially enters the MCU. And as for Don Cheadle, this series not only sets up his new status quo in the Marvel universe but also lays the groundwork for the actor’s standalone Armor Wars film. We’ve always loved Rhodey’s character, and we’re excited to see how he carries on the legacy of his best friend in that film while doing his best to keep the Iron Man technology from falling into the wrong hands.

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