Just a day after we received word that Marvel was eyeing a writer for a "Black Panther" movie, rumblings persist that they also have an as-yet-unidentified writer on board a "War Machine" spin-off. At least according to star Don Cheadle, currently at Sundance promoting "The Guard." "They're developing it now, they're working on that," Cheadle said, "I think they've hired a writer, so we'll see how it goes. It would be a lot of fun."
No kidding. Giving a franchise to the least bankable of the "Ocean's Eleven" crew outside of the Chinese acrobat would be pretty audacious. This backs up rumors heard last November that a "War Machine" pitch was out to writers, suggesting Marvel has a plan for all those robot suits once Robert Downey Jr. possibly flies the coop after "Iron Man 3." We love Cheadle and we think he's a great actor and a capable action leading man -- he certainly held his own in the underseen "Traitor" a couple of years ago. But he's a low-key thespian who has played this character once, taking over the mantle from Terrence Howard in a sequel that was pretty much just as popular as its predecessor.
Moreover, how are audiences going to react to a character that wasn't even cool enough to be an Avenger? "I don't think he shows up in ['Avengers']," Cheadle said, speaking of the 2012 tentpole. "I think he's kind of a lone wolf." Cheadle also confesses he's "out of the loop" in regards to Jon Favreau's exit from the "Iron Man" franchise, suggesting that everything he says is hearsay and Marvel might end up calling him anyway for a last-minute "Avengers" cameo. Would be a little odd if the militaristic SHIELD didn't consider Colonel James Rhodes to be a good fit for the Avengers but welcome the marksman Hawkeye, despite the fact that Hawkeye wields the bow and arrow and War Machine shoots giant rockets and bullets? Discuss, people.
In other Marvel news, the studio is trying to make a huge global impact with the upcoming "Captain America: The First Avenger" to the point where "America" will be downplayed to international (read: U.S.-disliking) audiences. Russia, South Korea and Ukrainian audiences will instead cheer on Chris Evans in "The First Avenger." The studio long ago considered a title change for all markets but realized the brand name was strong enough to withstand negativity in certain regions. For domestic audiences, you can enjoy "Captain America: America Flags Hot Dogs Victory White House America" on July 22nd.