Armor Wars

  • Studio: Marvel
  • Release Date: TBD
  • Marvel Phase: Seven

Armor Wars was slated to be a television series, but now has shifted to a feature-length film. Don Cheadle will reprise his role as James Rhodes/ War Machine and will lead the Armor Wars cast.

James Rhodes

Don Cheadle


Basically, any character that’s ever appeared in any meaningful way in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to get their own movie or series at some point. That’s just how this franchise is rolling and frankly, it makes a ton of sense. One of them is going to be Armor Wars which will bring back Don Cheadle into the War Machine role. It’s a new story that follows the timeline after Tony Stark is gone from the picture.

Originally, the plan for Armor Wars, which is effectively Iron Man 4 was going to be a series, but Marvel has changed course and it will now be a movie instead. Let’s take a look at what we know about this Don Cheadle production.


The plan had been for Armor Wars to be a six-episode series on Disney+, the standard for how the streamer and studio has approached these productions. But they’ve changed it up now with the announcement that it will become a movie instead. The reasoning was that this would give them the chance to tell the story the “right way”, though that was about all there was when it came to an explanation.

There’s some chance the overall arc, especially without Robert Downey Jr. in the mix because of Tony Stark’s death at the end of The Avengers timeline, just didn’t warrant as big a story.


armor wars

Armor Wars is based on the popular comic book line of the same name that takes its stories from the group in and around Tony Stark’s Iron Man. The idea with these was to create plot lines around the Stark technology even if Stark himself wasn’t part of the mix all of the time.

From the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s perspective, this works out pretty well seeing as how Robert Downey Jr’s character is no longer alive. While the original story published in the late-80s did involve Stark, subsequent follow-up stories didn’t necessarily always have him around. 

That being said, the Armor Wars main storyline should still be employed in this new movie because the broad concept can remain the same. That is that in Armor Wars it’s discovered that there are a whole host of folks out there using the Stark Iron Man technology without permission (so to speak) and not all of them are using it for good.

This sets Stark and Rhodes on a mission to find out just who is using what and why engaging them in battles along the way. 


robert downey jr

Because Tony Stark, at least in human version, is no longer alive in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the heavy Armor Wars lifting is going to go to Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes/ War Machine. In this story, it appears they will use elements of the original and he will be tasked with finding Stark tech that’s fallen into the wrong hands.

The name Armor Wars was used to describe the different fights the protagonists had with villains who’d been using the Iron Man tech in different ways. That looks like it will be the case here as well. Though now the job will fall on Rhodes’s metal shoulders. While few specific details are known about the show, Marvel has said that it will involve Rhodes tracking down the tech.

While Marvel has used different Armor Wars concepts in Iron Man movies already, this specific story hasn’t hit the big or small screen yet. In Iron Man 2 we saw Tony have to battle Mickey Rourke’s Ivan Vanko/ Whiplash who had repurposed Iron Man concepts into his own suit.

And then in Iron Man 3, Guy Pearce’s Aldrich Killian steals Extremis tech to create super soldiers of his own. Not a 1:1 version of Armor Wars but on a high level it dealt with many of the same themes. (Extremis was its own storyline in the comic books.)

And finally, we know that there are others in the MCU who have access to Stark technology seeing as how Peter Parker was using suits designed by Tony throughout the final run of that character’s arc. And Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio was working to control all of it as well. So the idea that Stark tech is alive and well in the MCU makes total sense, and having it fall into the wrong hands was pretty much only a matter of time.


Iron Man War Machine Marvel

As mentioned, Don Cheadle is front and center in this Armor Wars movie, finally getting top billing despite having been hanging around the MCU for quite some time now. He took over the Rhodes character in Iron Man 2 after Terrence Howard stepped away from the franchise early on.

This will be Cheadle’s sixth appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the character though this will be his biggest role yet. 

No other casting news has been announced for Armor Wars though there stands to reason a number of different characters who could be included in some way. In the original comic series, Blue Beetle played a part and we know that Jamie Reyes is playing that character already. So we could see some overlap there. 

Other criminals pop up in the story as well including Shockwave, Mauler, Controller, and Stingray among others. This would be an opportunity to bring some lower-level folks into the mix too especially if there is a mystery to the story of who is using the Stark tech.

As of right now, no executive producer or head writer has been confirmed for the Armor Wars movie.


It’s looking like Armor Wars will premiere on Disney+ sometime in Phase 6 of the MCU timeline. But beyond that, it isn’t quite known when that will happen. Seeing as how Phase 5 hasn’t even concluded yet, we are still a long way off. We will have more updates as they come through from the studio.

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