With all the new additions to the cast for Joss Whedon’s sequel to his Marvel mega-hit The Avengers, it seems that Ultron, the film’s titular villain, is going to be an even bigger threat in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A few months ago we found out that Aaron Taylor-Johnson was cast to play the character Quicksilver, brother to the Scarlet Witch, who would be played by his Godzilla co-star Elizabeth Olsen. Now it seems that Don Cheadle will be joining the team as Jim Rhodes, the pilot of the Iron Patriot.
Don Cheadle joined the Marvel cinematic universe when he replaced Terrance Howard as Jim Rhodes, Tony Stark’s best friend, in Iron Man 2. In that film Cheadle finally realized a fan-boy dream: seeing the hero War Machine on the big screen. While Cheadle didn’t make an appearance in the first Avengers title, he did play a big role in 2013’s Iron Man 3, which was basically another classic Shane Black buddy-cop movie but with superheroes instead of LAPD officers.
Bleeding Cool was the first to report the rumor that Don Cheadle would be putting on his Iron Patriot armor on for Age of Ultron, which then spread like a wildfire. Later Hitflix claimed to have confirmed the casting decision, but neither Joss Whedon, producer Kevin Feige, nor anyone from Marvel or Disney has made a statement. If this is true, this could be both good news and bad news for Don Cheadle and fans of War Machine/Iron Patriot. The good news is obviously the character’s involvement in one of the most anticipated superhero movies to date, but the bad news is what the particular details of his involvement could mean.
Slashfilm is speculating, and a lot of other Joss Whedon/Marvel fans agree, that the involvement of the Iron Patriot in an Avengers story that already has added the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver could mean that Joss Whedon might be setting up Rhodes for a tragic end. Whedon is infamous for killing off beloved characters in most of his universes dating all the way back to his TV debut Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Without spoiling it for the handful of people who didn’t watch the first Avengers film, it took a death to finally get the team of superheroes to work together – Cheadle’s role in the sequel might serve the same function. However, considering the terrible track record for anyone in the media to predict what’s going on in Joss Whedon’s head, this speculation should come with a grain of salt.
“Phase II” of the Marvel cinematic universe will be coming to a close when Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters May 1st, 2015. In the meantime, you can catch Don Cheadle as the Iron Patriot in Iron Man 3, which is out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.