Secret Invasion episode 4 confirmed what many already suspected: a certain Marvel hero has been replaced by a shapeshifting Skrull in the MCU. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has whipped up more speculation surrounding the character in a new interview, hinting that they’ve been a Skrull for quite some time.
Spoilers for Secret Invasion follow. You have been warned!
Speaking to Marvel’s official site, Feige said that James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes (Don Cheadle) has secretly been a Skrull during unnamed previous appearances in Marvel projects.
"We like the idea of fans going back and watching some of the other appearances of Rhodey and realizing that that wasn't him," Feige explained, adding that viewers will soon "understand exactly how long he’s been a Skrull."
"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," Feige revealed of the genesis behind the character's arc.
Cheadle is one of the MCU’s most prolific actors, appearing as Rhodes/War Machine in Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and a post-credits scene in Captain Marvel. He’ll reprise his role in Armor Wars.
It’s not clear when – or how – Rhodes was replaced, but it’s likely something that will be addressed in the remaining two episodes of Secret Invasion. And to think – we’ve got enough on our MCU plates with not one but two dramatic deaths in recent weeks.