The upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was already set to be something of a reunion for various characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to the title heroes played by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, respectively, the series will also feature the return of Daniel Bruhl as Helmut Zemo, Emily VanCamp as Agent Sharon Carter, and Georges St-Pierre as Georges Batroc. Now, apparently we can add another returning star to the show: Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes, aka War Machine.
In a new interview with BroBible for their Post-Credit Podcast, Don Cheadle addressed his continued involvement in the MCU, which Disney announced last month will include a return as Rhodey for an upcoming Armor Wars series on Disney+. In the process, he discussed the various possibilities still open to his character, and let slip the intriguing revelation that he's apparently also set to return for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
“That’s some of the fun of the MCU, that we all get to show up in each other’s stories, and there are ways that we’re cross-platforming these characters, and they become storylines, sometimes, in the movies," Cheadle said. "And then these storylines in the movies become storylines in the shows."
He continued, "It’s really a fun and interesting and, by all imagination, completely open-ended — this can go anywhere. It’s great, I can’t wait to get in the room with the writers and figure out how all those things [connecting Armor Wars to the MCU] happen. You know, Rhodey shows up in Winter Soldier and Falcon’s show. So, it can be a lot.”
Though we hadn't heard about it until now, Rhodey's appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier makes a lot of sense. As the other key Avenger to wear flying armor, he's set up in some ways as the heir apparent to Tony Stark's presence in various battles, but his military connections also allow him to fill certain key roles left vacant by Steve Rogers, and it'll be particularly interesting to see how Rhodey reacts to the introduction of John Walker, aka U.S. Agent (Wyatt Russell), in the new landscape after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
All that said, we still have no idea exactly what to expect from Cheadle's appearance in the series, particularly considering that he's being set up for a story of his own with Armor Wars. Will it be a cameo, a whole episode, a more substantial supporting role that was perhaps meant to be more of a surprise? We've reached out to Disney for comment and will update this story if we hear back.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premieres March 19 on Disney+.