In a little over a week, Black Panther will break ground as the first Marvel film starring a Black lead, but King T’Challa is far from Marvel’s first Black superhero. That honor goes to James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine. If fact, Marvel was at one time considering making a War Machine movie.
During a recent interview with Complex, Black Panther screenwriter Joe Robert Cole talked about how he became a part of Marvel’s writer’s program. But Cole wasn’t just another writer clamoring to writer a small pitch that gets used, he was sought out by Marvel because of a script he already wrote. Cole speaks about that meeting:
At that meeting, they also said they were thinking of doing a War Machine movie. I pitched a concept and won that job to write the script but they decided, based on what Iron Man 3 was going to be, they weren’t going to do War Machine anymore. But they asked if I’d be interested in joining their writer’s program instead.
Unfortunately, Marvel dumped a War Machine film for Iron Man 3, a movie that was divisive amongst fans. Rhodey is Tony Stark’s voice of reason, and would have made for an interesting film dynamic. One that focused on the military friend, rather than the billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
With Black Panther paving the way, and Marvel shifting focus after Avengers 4, there may be plenty of room for a WM movie in the future. Who knows, maybe there will be a film coming soon.