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Black Panther screenwriter was hired to write War Machine movie years ago

Surely not every Marvel movie we’ve seen is precisely every movie Marvel Studios has ever planned. Some movies have been pitched, developed and then soon dumped – and one of those was a solo movie for War Machine/James Rhodes starring Don Cheadle. BLACK PANTHER scribe Joe Robert Cole revealed during an interview that he was originally hired to work on the script for the solo movie, all before the studio decided to go a different way.

Cole said in his chat with Complex that it all started after he submitted a spec script to the studio, who then called him in to talk ideas. He then won the job to write the script for the War Machine movie they were planning, but that IRON MAN 3 put the kibosh on the whole thing.

I got into the program in a different way than everyone else that I know that was in it. From what I understand about the normal process is that you apply, I think by submitting a spec screenplay of some kind, they meet with you and then make their decision from there. I had written a Chinatown-style cop script and they met with me about it. 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.

We knew that Marvel was developing a War Machine movie even before THE AVENGERS came out. Cheadle said back in 2011 the solo movie was being developed and that, at that time, they had just hired a writer, which must have been Cole. The character has never gotten that solo movie, but he has since appeared in IRON MAN 3, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and took a bit of a tumble in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.

Cole went on to talk about how he had a good time working with Marvel during this War Machine period, detailing how he was given an office to work in and all the comics he needed to flesh out the character for his script:

The way it works—and I’m only speaking for myself here—is they give you an office and a character. You read all the comics with that character, then you come up with a story you see for that character. You present it, get notes and if everything moves along, you’re greenlit to write the script. When I was in the program, there were only three writers at a time and each of us were just working on our scripts. I took the place of Nicole Perlman, who wrote [the first] Guardians of the Galaxy in the program. For me, it was a really great experience.

Though he didn’t get a chance to see his movie with War Machine come to fruition everything worked out in the end. While he was working on the critically acclaimed PEOPLE VS. O.J. SIMPSON Cole was contacted about BLACK PANTHER, and the result is a movie that currently sits with a 98% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

As much as I love Cheadle as War Machine, I do think that a movie about him may not have been the right step. There's just nowhere to put it in the grand scheme of their plans. Not only does this apply to a story, but also the character. Giving him a solo movie means big plans for the character, and given that he's always been off to the side means Marvel just doesn't have those grander plans for him. Perhaps that could change if he sticks around post-AVENGERS 4, but sadly, I think the character could bite the dust.

We will next see Cheadle as War Machine/James Rhodes in AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR on May 4.

Source: Complex

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