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Exclusive: Armor Wars’ Place in the MCU Slate, Justin Hammer, and an Army of Iron Men

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In December 2020, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige took the (virtual) stage during Disney’s 2020 Investor Day to present an update to the Marvel Studios Phase 4 slate. Since then, nearly all of the projects announced during that presentation have come to fruition, all except one: Armor Wars. Since the project’s announcement in 2020, it’s been delayed multiple times. Originally slated as a 6-part series on Disney+, Armor Wars is now being redeveloped as a theatrical film. Thankfully, today, I’m able to provide some insight into what is going on with this Marvel project, how it fits into the narrative and some details to fill in the bigger picture. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Armor Wars’ place in the MCU slate

After multiple format changes and delays related to both the writer’s strike and the project, The Cosmic Circus can confirm that Armor Wars is projected as the next MCU film released on Disney’s schedule following Fantastic Four on May 2nd, 2025. That would place Armor Wars taking the July 25th, 2025 date.

It’s important to note that while the writer’s strike (and other impending strikes) take place, more delays to the MCU slate will occur the longer the strike goes on. So, while the July 2025 release date for Armor Wars may shift, its place in the slate following Fantastic Four will not.

Don Cheadle introducing 'Armor Wars' at the 2022 D23 expo with Kevin Feige
Don Cheadle introducing ‘Armor Wars’ at the 2022 D23 Expo (Marvel.com)

The plot of Armor Wars

Little is known about Armor Wars besides the simple tagline and main character. However, we know that the project is based on the storyline of the same name. Armor Wars stars Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, aka War Machine, as he faces Tony Stark’s worst fears, his technology falling into the wrong hands. As we have previously reported the production company is Acid Pop Productions LLC and at least one of the working titles is “Rigatoni.”

The film will adapt the comic’s events, with the antagonists taking Tony Stark’s technology and repurposing it for their own gain. This technology is currently in the hands of the Department of Damage Control, which will be a very crucial group in the story of this film.

The D.O.D.C. was originally a subsidiary of S.H.I.E.L.D. It later became its own department created by a coalition between Tony Stark and the U.S. Government to collect and store dangerous technology. This group has been active since the events of The Avengers (2012). It has been managing and keeping technology from the Avengers encounters, including Chitauri tech, Ultron bots, and various dangerous advanced weapons.

Since the death of Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame, the Department’s mission, and focus have changed, with the D.O.D.C. seizing all forms of Stark technology and taking a law enforcement approach against enhanced individuals using this technology. This technology includes E.D.I.T.H., Combat Drones, Sonic Cannons, and, of course, the Iron Man designs and projects.

Armor Wars will serve as a payoff to what the D.O.D.C. has been up to since the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home, detailing how the U.S. Government (and essentially the world) is frightened by the exponential rise of enhanced individuals over many years and have decided to take actions into their own hands to contain potential threats. The events of Secret Invasion will tie into this plot point heavily, as the events of this show will “break the camel’s back” and will tie in directly into the events of the upcoming movie.

To deter these ever-rising threats, a contingency plan was developed, which resulted in creating an “Iron Army,” essentially multiple individuals donning variations of the Iron Man suit. However, these plans will be hijacked by the film’s antagonists and will pit an army of rogue Iron Men against War Machine.

Armor Wars antagonists

While the D.O.D.C. may be the one who currently possesses the Iron Man technology, there is a mastermind presently pulling the strings at the D.O.D.C. so they can appropriate it for themselves. Our sources have told us that this mastermind is the current C.I.A. Director, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. Julia Louis-Dreyfus will return to the role following her misadventures with the Thunderbolts, where we’ll learn more about her and what her intentions with metahumans are in the Thunderbolts. However, she isn’t alone in this endeavor.

Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer (Left) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Director Valentina Allegra de Fontaine

Our sources have also said that Justin Hammer will return in this film as the man Director de Fontaine hires to develop this team of Iron Men. Sam Rockwell is expected to return to the role of Justin Hammer. His appearance in this film will serve as a callback from Iron Man 2, where Tony Stark sarcastically referred to Justin Hammer being able to replicate his Iron Man technology in 20 years.

As for the group of Iron Men that will be present in the film, our sources have yet to be able to provide details regarding their identity. However, some of them have indicated that this group has the potential to bring in some of the classic armored Iron Man villains into the fray to take on War Machine. 

In the past, we have reported on the potential return of Ultron in the upcoming Armor Wars film. Our sources have indicated that while there are talks to feature the rogue A.I. in future projects, no determinations have been made regarding the potential appearance of the villain in this film yet.

Armored alliances

Taking on one Iron Man seems like a daunting challenge for anyone to take on. Imagine an entire team/army of Iron Men. It looks like a lot to handle for one Colonel, James Rhodes. Luckily, he isn’t alone. We have heard from sources that potential armored heroes will join the fray against this group of Iron Men. This includes Wakanda Forever star Dominique Thorne returning as RiRi Williams, aka Ironheart. 

Black Panther Wakanda Forever Riri Ironheart
Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Marvel/Disney)

We have also heard from multiple sources about the potential return of several characters related to the Iron Man franchise. However, no confirmations could be made at the time of writing this article.

Are you excited about Armor Wars? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter @mycosmiccircus, or Bluesky at @cosmiccircus.bsky.social, or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.

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