You know what they say: two shellheads are better than one.
"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" writer and director Joss Whedon apparently has plans to prove that old adage true. According to multiple outlets, Don Cheadle is on tap to join the "Avengers" sequel as James "Rhodey" Rhodes, the hero alternately known as War Machine and Iron Patriot.
Until Marvel and/or Cheadle confirm the news, it's best to treat Rhodey's involvement in "Age of Ultron" as rumor and nothing more. Keep in mind that Rhodey was long-rumored to have a role in the first "Avengers" film, which never quite panned out. That said, the first "Avengers" film was much more of an ensemble piece, stopping short of focusing on any one hero as the film's de facto lead — and that formula might change at least somewhat for "Age of Ultron," based on what little we know of the sequel.
The sequel will focus on the creation and rise of Ultron, the android antagonist played by "The Blacklist" actor James Spader. In the comics, scientist and superhero Hank Pym creates Ultron. Whedon has already confirmed Pym won't be Ultron's creator in the movie; it's heavily hinted that Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., will get that "honor."
With Tony sitting in that hot-seat, it only makes sense that Rhodey, Tony's most trusted ally, fly into action and join his old buddy's fight against Earth's mightiest robot. On top of that, it appears the "Iron Man" films are on ice for now, with Downey only contracted for two future Marvel Studios appearances: "Age of Ultron," and a third "Avengers" film. Bringing Rhodey into "Age of Ultron" keeps that character alive and thriving outside of the "Iron Man" franchise, and potentially positions him for a "War Machine" spinoff of his own.
It's early days yet on the Rhodey rumors, but with production set to start in early 2014, expect some official confirmation one way or the other in the coming weeks.
"The Avengers: Age of Ultron" hits theaters on May 1, 2015.
Do you want to see Rhodey appear in the next "Avengers" film?