Don Cheadle Talks ‘Iron Man 3′; Petitions for War Machine in ‘Avengers 2′ & Phase 3

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 6th, 2013 at 10:58 pm,

Iron Man 3 War Machine Iron Patriot Air Force Don Cheadle Talks Iron Man 3; Petitions for War Machine in Avengers 2 & Phase 3

Early rumors reported that Don Cheadle’s War Machine would spend most of Iron Man 3 sidelined after being brutally attacked by the Mandarin. While the rebranded Iron Patriot does endure a nasty altercation with Mandarin’s soldiers, he’s hardly sitting on the sidelines – and no one is happier about it than Cheadle himself.

The surprisingly tough Oscar-nominated star of Crash loves doing stuntwork, and here, he gets to do more than ever – much more than Iron Man 2 (when War Machine was in costume, Cheadle had to let stuntmen do all the cool stuff). In Iron Man 3, Iron Patriot is now officially a key military weapon, and has been repainted from brutal black to cheery red, white and blue. While fans want to watch him fight the Mandarin’s army, they also want to know where Cheadle’s Iron Patriot might pop up next. Avengers 2? Captain America: The Winter Soldier? His own Phase 3 spin-off?

Cheadle has previously talked about possible future appearances for Captain Rhodes (as either War Machine or Iron Patriot) – even teasing his idea for a potential standalone film. During a press day for Iron Man 3, we talked with the actor about the latest entry in Marvel Studios’ shared cinematic universe as well as where his character might turn up next.

Don Cheadle as Rhodey in Iron Man 2 Don Cheadle Talks Iron Man 3; Petitions for War Machine in Avengers 2 & Phase 3

In return, Cheadle requests a letter-writing campaign to help ensure he gets to step into the armor suit again.

Your character switches his name from War Machine to Iron Patriot to sound less aggressive. That’s an interesting propaganda move.

 The switch was more so the president’s design. It wasn’t up to Rhodey at all, or even something that he was that interested in. I think when it comes up in the movie, he just kind of brushes it aside like, “Yeah, a focus group liked that name better.” To him, I don’t think it matters. You call it whatever you want to call it, as long as I get to do my job. But the propaganda aspect of it with regards to the Mandarin, I thought was really effectively done, and it’s clearly something you see in the real world. I thought it was interesting that we can do something like that in this, which is really 99% about entertainment, but is not afraid to bring in elements of the real world that everyone sitting in that theater is aware of.

I couldn’t help but think that if we now have Iron Patriot standing next to Iron Man, it sort of implies that Tony Stark is less of a patriot.

 I don’t know if he’s less of a patriot, but he doesn’t have to bear the weight of being in the military in that sort of chain of command. He’s on his own, whereas Iron Patriot is the public sector superhero. He’s not weighted with the same sense of responsibility that Rhodey is.

So much of Iron Man 3 is Tony Stark questioning who he is without the suit. Do you think Rhodey wrestles with the same issue?

 No, I feel like Rhodey knows who he is. Rhodey is a little more serious than Tony, a little more sober about himself. He has other demons, but I don’t think that’s one of his.

Robert Downey Jr Don Cheadle Iron Man 3 Don Cheadle Talks Iron Man 3; Petitions for War Machine in Avengers 2 & Phase 3

Does he think Tony is a whiner?

A whiner? I don’t think he’d use that word, but I think he thinks Tony is a loose cannon.

Tough question: would you trust the real life government to own an Iron Patriot suit?

‘Trust’ and ‘government,’ those two words are mutually exclusive.

The word ‘trust’ is on our money.

 Oh, yeah. But things are happening with our money all around the world that I don’t know that we’d necessarily sanction. No one’s asking us about it—they’re just doing it.

Do you see Rhodey as someone who can help turn the image of the government around, at least for a generation of kids?

 No. I think it’s a movie. It’s pure entertainment. I don’t think that a summer tentpole movie is where we go to find out how to comport ourselves in real life.

What was your favorite stunt?

 Just that whole third act. All that flying stuff, the containers, that stuff with the president – all that stuff.

Don Cheadle James Rhodes Iron Man 3 Patriot Photo Close up 570x379 Don Cheadle Talks Iron Man 3; Petitions for War Machine in Avengers 2 & Phase 3

Get any bruises?

 Yeah. But it’s all good. I’m tough, I can do it.

You’re also a producer. Does knowing the production side of things give you a deeper respect for what Kevin Feige and the team have pulled off in this gigantic, interwoven franchise?

 I understand that it is a huge undertaking. It is an awesome challenge. Keeping all of those moving parts moving in this whole family of Marvel movies, it’s ongoing. It’s not like they’ve done it – they’re still doing it. The period remains to be placed.

At Comic-Con, you said there was some talk of a Rhodey appearance in Avengers 2. Any update?

 No. But I think if you get a letter-writing campaign, there’s an opportunity to make that happen.


 I don’t know what you’re going to get with a Kickstarter budget! But that chapter is wide open – we’ll see.

Iron Man 2 Still War Machine Mark V 570x320 Don Cheadle Talks Iron Man 3; Petitions for War Machine in Avengers 2 & Phase 3

Thinking larger, does Iron Patriot have a role to play in Marvel’s Phase 2 or Phase 3?

 It’d be the same answer: We’ll see, we’ll see.

You half-joked that during your upcoming visit to the Captain America set, you might shoot a cameo. It would make sense: Rhodey and Cap seem like they have a lot in common.

 I don’t know because I’m not really a Captain America guy. I saw it, but I don’t know. Maybe? It’s hard for me to make that judgment from inside of the character, but maybe they have a lot in common.

What’s it like to be in the middle of a frenzy of fans asking you what’s next for Rhodey, while still wondering about it yourself?

 I expect the questions. This is not my first picnic. This is what this is, and we’re out here trying to support the movie, so I get it. But I don’t think it’s annoying that people keep asking if I’m coming back – it’s better than people going, “I’m so glad that this is it, and that you’re never going to return.” It’s better than that.

Stay tuned for updates on War Machine (and/or Iron Patriot) in Marvel Phase 2.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013

The Avengers 2 will hit theaters (with or without War Machine) on May 1, 2015

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  1. I’d like to see WM show up in TA2 or even CA:TWS

  2. It’d be great to see him in CA:TWS, but probably not cuz of the whole contract thing but be nice if they got something worked out.
    I think he is kind of integral in the character of Tony Story, at least in the movies. He seems to be the voice of realism, but with his own armor.
    However, with all the characters being confirmed for A2, it might turn others off the idea of seeing him. I personally don’t have a problem with the inclusion of all these characters. Just make the movie a bit longer.

    • *Stark

  3. I suddenly do not like Don Cheadle…


    • He comes off as sorta smug and dismissive in this article.

      • I was thinking the same thing! Seems almost Terrance Howard-ish

        • Same feel.

  4. he should be in Avengers 2

  5. Still prefer Terrance Howard!

  6. I’m sure Don is a nice guy and all, but he isn’t right for this role.

  7. Yes he should be in AVENGERS 2 since they can’t use Wolverine or Spider-Man.

  8. Smug?!? Really….??? I didn’t get that and don’t know how you get that without seeing him respond in person. He didn’t say anything harsh or negative so how do you pass judgement on someone’s character due to a positive written interview?

    • It’s called reading between the lines, grasping the underlying context… he doesn’t have to be outright negative to pick up on certain things that are unsaid, and you don’t have to be standing there staring him in the face to read it in his phrasing.

      Don’t feel bad though, some people can only pick up on the face value. I’m not really knocking you.

  9. Post Credit Scene of Iron Man 3

  10. I like Don, he seems cool. For him to show in other Marvel movies would be great. I’m stil not sold on his own movie however.

    • +1

  11. I havent seen IM3 yet but isnt he uh…Iron Patriot now?

  12. Rhodey got demoted????

    It’s Col. Rhodes, not Cpt….

  13. I kind of think I would rather see war machine/Iron patriot more as a supporting character for iron man. Nothing against him, but there are other priorities (plus I don’t want him to take away anything from Stark/IM, any more than you would want Robin to overshadow Batman, Tonto to overshadow The Lone Ranger, or Kato to overshadow The Green Hornet. Remember who is the senior partner and in charge). I would rather concentrate on getting Goliath (Hank Pym) and Wasp, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch into The Avengers ASAP (this last pair now seem to have been confirmed for Avngers #2).

    • With the last Batman movie and its Robin kicker at the end he did (in some regards) overshadow Batman as we are now looking for him to become Batman.
      And i believe Tonto will overshadow the Ranger this summer.

      • We’re done with Nolan’s Batman though…

        Plus, there was more talk of him becoming Nightwing than anything. What’s the difference? Nightwing handles things a lot differently than Batman does, he is his own character.

        War Machine, and I mean no offense to the character in general, is nothing more than another Iron Man but with a different guy in the suit.

  14. Have just seen IM3 and boy this movie reeks of Shane Black’s style. Great one!

  15. Distrusting government helps keep them honest. Right on, Don Cheadle!!!

  16. He should not be in Avengers 2.

    He works great as a second character in Iron Man but if he comes on equal footing with Irion Man well now you just have two of them and they diminish each other.

    But if he appears in a secondary role then you are squeezing in screen time for a secondary hero on top of trying to give each of the main hero’es their own time.

    That would chew into any time left to get a decent story going.

  17. Send letters to get him more screen time/money? That does seem a bit Terrence-ish.

  18. It’s COLONEL Rhodes, not Captain. Well, Lieutenant Colonel actually, or at least he was back in IM2, no clue if he’s been promoted since then to Colonel.

    Anyway, I like Rhodey and I like War Machine, I would love to have him around for a long time :D

  19. “The word TRUST is on our money” …. Yes, true, ‘In Government We Trust’ that is exactly what it says

  20. After seeing IM 3, I’m pretty positive we won’t ever see Rhodie ever again.
    Go ahead, and take a long, hard think about all the “bad-ass” scenes that Rhodie has as War Machine/Iron Patroit between IM 2 and IM 3. Go ahead. Think about it. Having a hard time?


    Hello Disney.

    • IM2 was released before Disney gained control over the company. IM3, i see where u are with that. lol

  21. im looking forward to that story where rhodes finally realize that he is destine to battle tony stark after picking up the warwear alien armor w/c was given by an cosmic being..tony stark(evil)unaware that he is being controlled by the opposing cosmic being. Thus war machine vs iron man!! let’s get it done. it will be a very good story and people will be shock.

  22. I think if War machine was in Avengers 2 they can make him be bad-ass, because war machine does have to do something whey cool like tear a robot in half and then shoot its face off. Avengers 2 would be the best time to make him bad-ass or even his own movie would be sick especially if Downy decides to leave, Cheadle’s own movie would be a great intro for taking his place and joining the avengers instead of casting another actor to play iron man