In 2020, Armor Wars was one of the big announcements during the Disney Investor Day that set the stage for Marvel’s continued expansion on Disney+. But plans have changed, and the much-anticipated Armor Wars series is no longer going forward. Via The Hollywood Reporter, Armor Wars is now being redeveloped as a feature film.
Don Cheadle remains attached to headline the movie as James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine, a role he has portrayed since Iron Man 2 in 2010. Additionally, Yassir Lester, the head writer for the Armor Wars series, will adapt the project for the big screen. Armor Wars does not have a director at this time, and the shift in development will push it out of its previously planned 2023 production slot. Beyond Cheadle, no other cast members have been announced.
Armor Wars is based on the 1987 Iron Man storyline written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, which was illustrated by Mark Bright. In that multi-part adventure, Tony Stark discovered that his proprietary Iron Man technology had been stolen and sold to many of the armored villains in the Marvel Universe. Incensed, Stark went on a vendetta to reclaim and neutralize his stolen tech even when it alienated his fellow Avengers and made him an enemy of the United States government.
Since Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man was killed off in Avengers: Endgame, it falls to Rhodey to carry on and defend the legacy of his fallen friend. The only logline that Marvel released for Armor Wars was that it explores Tony Stark’s worst nightmare as his technology falls into the wrong hands.
Bringing Armor Wars to the big screen essentially makes it the fourth Iron Man movie with Cheadle in the leading role. In Marvel’s comic book universe, Rhodey was the second Iron Man before he took on the mantle of War Machine as his own. So if Marvel decides to officially make Rhodey the new Iron Man, there is a precedent for that.
For now, Armor Wars doesn’t have a theatrical release date. But since Marvel has released most of its theatrical plans through the first half of 2026, it will likely come out somewhere in that timeframe.
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