Considering the character of James Rhodes, featured in the two “Iron Man” pictures, has not been mentioned in the mix for the “Avengers” film, it’s not a surprise to see the character positioned as a major player in the post-“Avengers” world considering he’s an already-established superpowered character.
In the comics, War Machine was mostly called into action when Tony Stark was incapacitated, suggesting that, should Robert Downey Jr. drop out of the role in “Iron Man 3,” as speculated, then Don Cheadle would fill the void for a chrome-headed superhero.
This also brings to mind the notion of Cheadle as the lead in an expensive action blockbuster, something that seems a little, well, unexpected? Robert Downey Jr. can’t be Iron Man forever (can he?), and a “War Machine” film suggests that these films will evolve as one consistent storyline, but it also involves banking on the star of “Hotel Rwanda” to be a tentpole attraction. We’re guessing any writer with ideas for this character will just see them folded into a “S.H.I.E.L.D.” film instead, but who knows, it all sounds like very preliminary news.