– by David Kozlowski

Speculating on Marvel’s phase 4 films has become a full-time job for the Internet. Fans and media are scrubbing every press release, interview, and Easter egg for a hint or a clue. Marvel, to their credit, has kept a tight lid on where they’re going after Avengers 4. So, what do we know?

We’ve known for a while that Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 is happening. Black Widow is slated for 2020 and they’ve hired a writer, according to Variety. Beyond that we can only guess (and we will!). Today we learned about another Marvel character that was seriously considered for a solo film, and this one caught us by surprise.

Related – Don’t Expect Marvel Phase 4 Announcements Any Time Soon, Says Kevin Feige

Screenwriter Joe Robert Cole (American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson) was an up-and-coming talent when Marvel hired him for Black Panther — based on initial reviews, his script is outstanding. Cole came up through Marvel Studios’ writer program, an intensive, in-house academy for aspiring writers. Cole describes his experience with the program in an interview with Complex:

“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.”

Cole expanded on his experiences in the program, and then dropped a new piece of intel regarding another Marvel character:

“I had written a Chinatown-style cop script and [Marvel] 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.”

Marvel is known to stockpile scripts and ideas, building a vault of concepts that might someday result in new franchises or minor subplots within other films. Even though Cole indicates that his War Machine concept was shelved, it’s entirely conceivable that the character could still turn up as a phase 4 solo film.

James “Rhodey” Rhodes (aka War Machine) is a fascinating character, whose backstory and current place in the MCU certainly merits a standalone movie. He’s been a significant fixture of the MCU since the beginning; initially played by Terrence Howard in Iron Man, but since Iron Man 2 he’s been portrayed by Don Cheadle — a fantastic and versatile actor. Rhodes is a military pilot who suffered a paralyzing injury — a very relatable character in our wartime culture — and he’s also a close ally of Tony Stark/Iron Man.

A War Machine movie is a fascinating idea. It may or may not happen, but it’s worth keeping the topic alive… you never know, Marvel cares deeply about the opinions of its fanbase, and they love their military-themed characters (Captain America, Captain Marvel, Winter Soldier, The Punisher, Flash Thompson, Nick Fury, Professor X, Bullseye, Juggernaut — to name just a few).

Would you be interested in a War Machine movie from Marvel? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Complex , Variety

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.