When the Avengers assemble once again for “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” some new costumes will be added to the roster of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes — like Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver — but an old, familiar face in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may also get the chance to suit up. HitFix has confirmed the rumor that Don Cheadle will reprise his role as Colonel James Rhodes. While HitFix doesn’t state whether Cheadle will appear in the Iron Patriot armor, it does describe the character playing a “key role” in the conflict versus Ultron.
Provided he doesn’t show up in the next few Marvel Cinematic Universe films, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will be Cheadle’s third film playing James Rhodes. Cheadle inherited the role from Terrance Howard for “Iron Man 2,” which introduced Rhodes’ War Machine armor, and appeared again in “Iron Man 3” as the newly-christened Iron Patriot. By the end of “Iron Man 3,” when Tony Stark destroyed his armors, the fate of the Iron Patriot armor was left ambiguous, though if Cheadle is set to return for “Age of Ultron” in a key role, it seems likely he’ll be suiting up in some capacity.
The cross pollination between Marvel films is hardly a first — secondary characters from the core MCU films that played a role in “The Avengers” are numerous; most notably Skellan Skarsgard as Dr. Erik Selvig from “Thor,” Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts from “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2,” not to mention Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson. With Cheadle joining the cast of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” it’s even more likely that more secondary characters will step up to the plate for the sequel.
Cheadle’s casting has yet to be confirmed by Marvel, but should the rumor prove true, he’ll join other new cast members Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and James Spader. It’s also assumed that the original core “Avengers” cast will return to reprise their roles.
Directed by Joss Whedon, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” opens May 1, 2015.