Armor Wars’ Curious Shift from Series to Feature Film

Béibhinn Collier

In the latest change to the MCU’s line-up, it has just been announced that Marvel’s ‘Armor Wars’ will be moving from a Disney+ series to a feature film. Little was known about the project before this shift with the only actor confirmed to be returning being Don Cheadle who is set to reprise his role as War Machine. While no storyline has been confirmed yet, the movie takes its name from an acclaimed seven-issue storyline published in the Iron Man comics in the late 1980s. This event, written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton with art by Mark Bright, followed the story of Tony Stark’s powerful suits and technology falling into the hands of his enemies.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the decision was made when the team behind it realised during development that the story was more suited to a feature film than a series. This isn’t the first time that a Marvel project has changed format during development. The Hawkeye series was originally planned to be another feature film before being changed to a Disney+ show.

This means that Armor Wars will also have a theatrical release just like all previous MCU movies. The series had been set to begin production in 2023 but that date has now been put back. There is still no director attached to the project and it is unclear where the movie will be on the timeline or if it is still scheduled to be a part of Marvel’s Phase Four.

Yassir Lester, known for his work on Adult Swim’s ‘Black Dynamite’ and ‘Mr. Pickles’, was originally hired as writer for the Disney+ show but is set to continue in this role as it transitions to a feature film. Lester is known for his work in comedies so it’s likely that this film will also have a comedic tone similar to Taika Waititi’s ‘Thor’ films. This emphasis on comedy has worked in Marvel’s favour in the past. The franchise is known for mixing a light-hearted tone with heavier topics such as loss and guilt. This has set the MCU apart from other more inconsistent superhero franchises such as the DCEU.

Although little is known about the project so far, fans are excited to see a more in-depth and personal look at the character of War Machine. Colonel James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes has appeared in 9 MCU movies so far but only ever as a side character. It is likely that this film will have to tackle Rhodey’s reaction to his best friend Tony Stark’s death as well as how he is coping with the paralysis he suffered during Captain America: Civil War. Don Cheadle has said that he is looking forward to exploring Rhodey’s new place within the MCU, without being tied so closely to Tony Stark.

With the MCU shows already facing criticism for only being available to Disney+ subscribers, this shift for ‘Armor Wars’ could make the ever-growing MCU timeline less confusing for fans and newcomers alike.

Béibhinn Collier

Image: Disney