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Rhodey Deserves His Own Movie or Disney+ Series

This actually should have happened years ago.

Rhodey, a.k.a. War Machine, readies himself for the fight against Thanos in the poster for Avengers: Endgame

One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s mainstays, yet also one of the franchise’s most under-appreciated characters, is Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, and it’s about damn time he got his own movie or Disney+ spinoff. A kickass hero and character in his own right, beyond his relationship to Tony, Rhodey (and Don Cheadle) deserves the chance to shine on his own, and if Marvel conveniently forgets he exists after Avengers: Endgame, I will be the unhappiest of campers.

Rhodey was supposed to get his own solo movie sometime after The Avengers came out. “We kicked it around a bit,” Cheadle told Entertainment Weekly. “There was definitely going to be a lot of tension between his job as a military man and his allegiances to the code that he swore an oath to uphold, versus the changing world. I think they probably would have run afoul of each other a little bit, but I don’t know if he would have been a straight fugitive, or if he would have become decommissioned. But there was definitely going to be some tension between those two worlds.”

Iron Man 3 was great, but I’d have been fine with tabling it for a while if it meant we got a Rhodey solo film that was set immediately after the alien invasion that rocked the MCU’s world. Rhodey wasn’t present for the Battle of New York, where his best friend nearly died and the MCU changed forever. Iron Man 3 shows that Rhodey is running missions as War Machine, but we never really see them. We know he’s badass in them, as evidenced by his stories in Age of Ultron, but we should have seen how Rhodey reckoned with the new world order and his role.

Rhodey also gets hints of really awesome friendships and dynamics with other characters that are never really explored. He and Sam are buddies, as evidenced by Sam diving to catch him in Civil War when they’re on opposite sides, and Rhodey searching for Sam after the Snap, but that’s never really explored in depth. He and Nebula have struck up an odd friendship that could lead to some really powerful scenes if the pair are off doing kickass missions together. There’s also the promise of a friendship with Carol Danvers, based on their comic history.

Rhodey is also the prime candidate to step into the Iron Man role of the new Avengers. If he disappears after Endgame, then the writers truly could never envision him outside of Tony, which is deeply problematic. It would be smarter to let Rhodey get his own film or show and then let him keep on kicking ass in the movies—and not just as support in, say, Captain Marvel 2. He needs to headline.

What does the military look like after the two different Snaps? Is Rhodey running missions to make sure that bad guys trying to seize power or enact violence, due to the chaos of half the population disappearing then reappearing, don’t hurt innocents? What is it like for him, having gone into space? What is it like living in a world without his best friend?

This might be better served by a Disney+ series, which could delve into the gritty details on a longer scale than a two-hour film. If he gets a film and it has to be a team-up, I’d love to see Captain America and War Machine take on the world as they grapple with their losses. It’d be fun to have Mackie and Cheadle play off each other, and there could be more there with them both taking on the legacies of their friends.

Let Rhodey be a new Avenger. Let him banter with Scott “Regular-Size Man” Lang, strategize with Carol, and maybe even let Nebula come back to Earth so they can be snarky besties again. Basically, give Rhodey his due, and don’t just write him off because Tony Stark is now out of the picture.

Just give us good Rhodey content. That’s all we’re asking for.

(image: Marvel)

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Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.