Deals in Hollywood are made in all sorts of places, but one particularly strange one was Don Cheadle signing on with Marvel while at his kid’s laser tag party…and he had just two hours to do it.
In a new interview with GQ, Don Cheadle recalled that fateful day in which he was asked to play James Rhodes/War Machine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, taking over for Terence Howard. “I was at my kid’s laser tag birthday party…They called me and said, ‘This is what’s happening and we’re giving you the offer. If you don’t say yes then we’re going to the next person. This is going to happen very fast. Why don’t you take an hour and decide if you want to do it.’ It was a six-movie deal! In an hour I have to decide?”
Such a decision would seem like an easy one in retrospect–after all, what’s a better birthday present than telling your kid your new best friend is Iron Man? But neither Don Cheadle or Marvel was sure about the character’s arc and so the actor requested more time–another hour to be exact. After that, the studio would move on to the next candidate. “So we played laser tag for two hours and I was talking to my wife and we thought about it and talked to my agent and tried to get as much information as we could.” Laser tag and superheroes in one day? Those Hollywood folk sure have it good!
Don Cheadle has since gone on to portray the character seven times in Marvel movies, with another few TV and video game appearances as well. While a War Machine spinoff was once on the table, but was ultimately shelved. However, Don Cheadle will again play the character in the upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion and headlining Armor Wars, which is expected to begin filming this year.
Don Cheadle can currently be seen in Noah Baumbach’s White Noise, now available on Netflix.
What do you think? Does Don Cheadle have what it takes to lead his own Marvel movie? Let us know your thoughts below!