Marvel Changing Armor Wars to Movie Instead of Disney+ Show

Despite teasing work on the Armor Wars TV series just a few weeks ago at D23 Expo, Marvel Studios has decided to change the series from a show to a feature film. The Hollywood Reporter brings word on the development, revealing that the change came after studio sources revealed the wanted to tell the story "the right way." Don Cheadle is still attached to star in the series, reprising his role of James Rhodes aka War Machine for the movie. The trade notes that Yassir Lester, previously attached as head writer for the show, is still on board to write the script.

"If you know anything about the lore, and you've read the comic books, you understand that it's a series that was built around Tony's Stark Tech getting out and Rhodey taking it on to go get this tech back from the bad hands, the bad actors whose hands it is in," Cheadle previously told at D23 Expo. "And as Marvel does, it's also an opportunity to take the mythology and tip it on its head a little bit and come up with different ways to tell the story, so it's doing that and has done that in spades."  

THR notes that the change from a series to a movie will push it further back in the development slate for Marvel Studios. At this point it's now unclear where the film will land on Marvel's schedule, but the studio has previously set release dates well beyond their Phase Six block of movies with untitled movies scheduled for 2026 and beyond.

"The death of Tony Stark, I'm pretty sure, will play a role in the series," Cheadle said during an interview with BroBible last year. "Where we've been sort of progressing Rhodey—even in the last film where he's now up again and he's now walking again and he's now mobile again—so as the technology continues to develop and we keep making innovations in the suit and what happens, I imagine there's gonna be another elevation and another way that we're going to keep digging into that part of Rhodey," he said. "But really, figuring out a way to bridge what's happening in the comic books with what's happening on screen in the MCU and how we're going to make those worlds work, that's really exciting."  

Cheadle's next appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will come much sooner than Armor Wars though with the character set to appear in the thriller series Secret Invasion. Given previous circumstances, and the plot of the Samuel L. Jackson-starring show, it's possible that Cheadle might be playing a Skrull version of himself in that series, setting up Armor Wars to be an even bigger stepping stone for the character.

The shift from Armor Wars from a series to a movie marks the first time that one of Marvel Studios' Disney+ originals has changed in such a way. Previously the inverse did occur with Hawkeye starring Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld originally in the works as a movie before shifting to a Disney+ series.