Marvel’s “Armor Wars,” originally planned as a TV series for Disney+, is being redeveloped as a feature film, Variety has learned.
“Armor Wars” will star Don Cheadle, reprising his MCU role of James “Rhodey” Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine. The project is based on Marvel Comics’ seven-issue arc of the same name within the story of Iron Man, and follows Rhodes as he must face what happens when Tony Stark’s tech falls into the wrong hands.
Yassir Lester, who was originally set as the series’ head writer, remains attached to write the project.
This is Marvel’s second big shake-up of the week. “Blade” director Bassam Tariq stepped away from the project on Tuesday, just two months before the film was set to begin production, signaling a potential delay from the originally set Nov. 2023 premiere date. However, “Armor Wars” won’t slide into that date — it’s unclear when the new movie will arrive in theaters.
At the D23 Expo in Anaheim earlier this month, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige stated that “Armor Wars” would follow the events of “Secret Invasion,” the MCU TV series set to debut in early 2023 on Disney+, in which Cheadle’s Rhodes will also appear. On the red carpet with Variety’s Marc Malkin, the actor explained how the two projects are tied together.
“In the trailer, you see that he’s got to confront Nick [Fury.] He and Fury are gonna go at it throughout this show, as far as what they need to do, given what’s happened on this planet at this point,” Cheadle teased. “It’s kind of a thriller and a different kind of show than you usually see in the MCU, which is great that we can continue to keep changing it up and switching it up. It’s lots of fun.”
Cheadle also confirmed that he’s finished with his initial contractual obligations to Marvel Studios, but noted that he’s open to additional MCU projects. “Now it’s just, if something sounds fun and I’m presented with it, it’s like ‘Yeah, let’s go.’” To note, the actor’s last appearance as Rhodes — a guest spot on 2021’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” — earned Cheadle a Primetime Emmy nomination.
Speculatively, based on the comic books, villains that could potentially appear in “Armor Wars” include Stilt-Man, the Crimson Dynamo and Justin Hammer, who was played by Sam Rockwell in “Iron Man 2.” The “Armor Wars” comics were written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton in 1987 and 1988 with art by Mark D. Bright and Barry Windsor-Smith.
The Hollywood Reporter was first to report the switch from series to movie.