When Tony Stark sacrificed his life in Avengers: Endgame, his legacy fell on the shoulders of his best friend: James Rhodes, also known as War Machine. Unfortunately, the character hasn’t been seen much since then – in fact, her only appearance since 2019 was her Emmy-nominated guest spot in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
The character is set to star in the upcoming Disney+ event series Armor Wars. However, with the show not appearing on any of the phase slates during San Diego Comic-Con 2022, its future is unknown.
As fans wait to see the character again, it’s natural to start wondering what could have been, especially with a character that has such a long history as War Machine. Well now, thanks to some recently released concept art, it’s been revealed that there could have been another battle scene in Avengers: Infinity War.
War Machine Deleted Battle
Artist Phil Saunders shared new concept art for Avengers: Infinity War on Instagram which revealed a cut sequence for Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes.
The art shows Rhodes in a virtual control center seemingly controlling his armor from afar, in which he battles Proxima Midnight in Edinburgh.
The Hulkbuster is also featured in the background, suggesting that Bruce Banner’s Hulk-style Iron Man suit was going to be in the same scene at some point.
Rhodey’s leg braces were allegedly locked into the holographic control system.
Simply put, War Machine would have had access to an upgraded version of the remote system seen in iron man 3where Tony Stark piloted the Iron Man suit from a boat and rescued 13 Air Force 1 passengers.
Saunders noted that “the sequence was cut at the beginning” but would have included a unique blend of “real action and holographic:”
“Okay, yeah, it’s been forever! Too many projects in the hopper that have power outages, so I’m digging through the trash for unused concepts. This is Avengers: Infinity War, where James Rhodes leads the Battle of Edinburgh from a distance, with his Tony Stark-designed leggings locked into a holographic control system for War Machine Mk. 4. Bruce Banner is said to have piloted the Hulkbuster (design by Josh Nizzi) into battle against Proxima Midnight (courtesy Jerad Marantz and Adam Ross) and Corvus Glaive (designed by Jerad Marantz and Ian Joyner) unfortunately the footage was cut very early on It was still fun to troubleshoot to depict the overlap of live action and holographic in Classes !”
Was removing it a good choice?
In the finished film, Don Cheadle’s Avenger doesn’t really enter the story until after the battle with Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive, when Steve and co. arrive at the enclosure. The same goes for Bruce Banner, who was also cut from the streak but would have joined Rhodey’s remote shenanigans.
Was it a good idea to cut it? As great as it would have been to have more War Machine, Marvel probably made the right call, especially since the film is already almost two and a half hours long.
Infinity War already has so much to do, so the slow introduction of new players throughout the story has worked perfectly. Plus, while Rhodes joining virtually might have made sense, Bruce piloting the Hulkbuster certainly wouldn’t — the definition of overkill.
Many fans are always looking for more War Machine in their life; fortunately, he is still a key player on the board. His next appearance will be next year Secret Invasionand he will lead the Disney+ series Armor Warswhich currently does not have an estimated release window.
Avengers: Infinity War is now streaming on Disney+.