Marvel Studios has stopped pre-production on the planned Disney+ series Armor Wars in order to redevelop the project as a theatrical film.
According to reports, the studio has decided to change plans with the project and are now eyeing the story, which would feature Don Cheadle returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as James “Rhodey” Rhoades, aka War Machine, for the big screen. Series head writer Yassir Lester is still attached to the project as screenwriter. No director has been attached yet.
The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed from sources that “Marvel had been eyeing a 2023 start of production on the series, but the few people who were gearing up for that were notified Thursday of the change of direction.”
Cheadle’s next MCU appearance will be in the Disney+ series Secret Invasion, which is due early next year.
There is no word yet as to where Armor Wars will definitely fall on Marvel’s release calendar. The series was expected to be released sometime in late 2023/early 2024, though it will now probably arrive much later in its feature film form.
Currently, Marvel is coming up on the conclusion of Phase Four of it’s ongoing cinematic universe with November’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Phase Five which will kick off with Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania next February and run through the middle of 2024 with Thunderbolts releasing that July. All the theatrical film spots for Phase Five are already spoken for, so we have to look further ahead into Phase Six. That cycle of films kicks off with Fantastic Four in November 2024 and ends with two Avengers films – The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars – in May and November of 2025 respectively. That still leaves two potential empty slots in early 2025 where Armor Wars could possibly be slotted it. That is, if Marvel isn’t holding onto the project to help kick off the inevitable Phase Seven.