Along with Nick Fury, James Rhodes is the longest-surviving member of the MCU (technically Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan are in that boat as well, though it’s highly unlikely that Gwyneth Paltrow knows that after having made their first appearances in 2008’s Iron Man. While Secret Invasion puts Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury front and center, Don Cheadle‘s Rhodey has a part to play as well, albeit a little different one than what fans have become accustomed to. During the global press event for the upcoming Disney Plus streaming series, Cheadle gave some insight into his character’s “different role” in Secret Invasion.
“I think we’re just kind of finding out what’s happening with Rhodey as this series goes on,” said Cheadle about his character’s evolution in the post-Blip world. “He’s in a different role. We see him as more a political animal than we have in the past. He’s been more of a military man, but now he’s sort of, you know, in some ways, a right hand of the president and this special envoy, in that regard.” And, as has been teased in the trailers for the series, that role puts him a bit at odds with Nick Fury despite their shared past.
For Cheadle, having the opportunity to explore that changing relationship with Fury–and the rest of the cast–is what he most enjoyed about working on Secret Invasion. “I think what I’m looking forward to is just seeing more, you know, getting under the hood of who he is,” explained Cheadle. “And seeing how this relationship, not only with Nick Fury, but the other cast members evolves.”
With Cheadle’s Armor Wars project set to spin out of the events of Secret Invasion, it seems like there might be another evolution ahead for War Machine.