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Published July 12, 2023

‘Secret Invasion’: Don Cheadle and Kevin Feige on Rhodey’s Big Reveal

“It's fun to fold that in and know that that’s what's happening underneath all of these Rhodey scenes."

rhodey - secret invasion

If you’ve been watching the last few episodes of Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion thinking that something seems off about James “Rhodey” “War Machine” Rhodes, you’re not alone — and you’re not wrong. In Episode 4, it’s revealed that everything is not as it seems, and turns out Rhodey is not Rhodey after all. Rhodey’s a Skrull. And Nick Fury knows it.

“It's fun to fold that in and know that that’s what's happening underneath all of these Rhodey scenes,” Don Cheadle explains. “Rhodes is not who he appears to be.”

In Secret Invasion, Rhodey has taken on a new role as a trusted envoy and advisor to President Ritson, in incredibly close quarters with the world leader. For Fury, it’s too close, as he mentions to Talos that he knows a Skrull has infiltrated deep into the U.S. Government. Fury also overhears a conversation between Rhodey and his Skrull wife, Priscilla, with the latter being given instructions to kill her husband. That’s not something the Rhodey fans have come to know and love over the last decade in the MCU would do, and Fury knows it.

Showing up in Rhodey’s hotel room, Fury begins a dangerous game with the Skrull. Fury strongly suggests that he knows Rhodey isn’t who he appears to be, but Skrull Rhodey refuses to lean into it. Fury’s going to have to find another way to reveal the truth.

“It becomes sort of a cat-and-mouse game between the two of them, about what he has on Fury and if he's going to release information about Fury,” Cheadle continues. “Fury has to play it the right way while still trying to protect and save the planet.”

And now Fury has an even bigger problem on his hands, keeping Skrull Rhodey at bay.

“We needed to have a character that one would not expect to be a Skrull.,” Marvel Studios President and executive producer, Kevin Feige, explains. “Don was on board for this reveal of playing and revealing another side of Rhodey and revealing that, yeah, Rhodey has been a Skrull.”

Right from the get-go, Cheadle was game to go down this new avenue. “When we have amazing actors, like Don, that have been with us for so many years, we very much treat them as partners in the creative collaboration,” Feige continues. “It was very early days when we pitched this concept to Don, and he very much was into it and into being able to play with different sides of Rhodey that we haven't seen before.”

But now that this reveal is out in the open, there are still bigger issues at hand including just how long Rhodey has been a Skrull?! That revelation will have to wait, as viewers come to “understand exactly how long he’s been a Skrull,” Feige adds. “We like the idea of fans going back and watching some of the other appearances of Rhodey and realizing that that wasn't him.”

No backup. Just Fury. Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney+. 

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