Marvel Studios has shaken up its Armor Wars project, and now what was to have been a series for Disney+ will be redeveloped as a feature film.
The move essentially pushes back the title further down the development slate.
Sources say the studio was committed in getting the story told the right way and in that process realized that a feature was better suited for the project. Like all Marvel movies, it is intended for a theatrical release.
Don Cheadle, who is reprising his longtime Marvel Cinematic Universe role as Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes, AKA War Machine, remains on board to star. Yassir Lester, who was acting as head writer on the series, will remain as its feature scribe.
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. No directors had been officially attached and it is unclear when an Armor Wars feature would pop on Marvel’s timeline of its phases of movies and Disney+ series.
Little is known about the logline for Armor Wars although it was brought up earlier this month at Disney’s D23 Expo when Cheadle joined Marvel Studios producer and president Kevin Feige on stage, revealing a logo for what was then touted as being a six-episode event series. Feige first announced plans for Armor Wars in late 2020.
The title Armor Wars hails from a celebrated storyline that was published in the Iron Man comics in 1987 and 1988. Written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton with art by Mark Bright, it tackled the idea of the highly advanced technology of Iron Man falling into the wrong hands. The live-action series was seen as a way to showcase multiple types of armor.
Cheadle’s next Marvel appearance remains the MCU series, Secret Invasion, which also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn and scheduled to debut in 2023. He has played the character since 2010’s Iron Man 2.
This is not the first time Marvel has pivoted the development of a title in this way. Hawkeye was originally conceived as a feature before the executive team decided to turn the idea into a Disney+ series. To date, Marvel has released all of its films in theaters.