Iron-Man-3-Poster-Don-Cheadle-sliceFollowing last month’s announcement that Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen have officially signed on to join Joss Whedon’s line-up for Avengers: Age of Ultron, it looks like Whedon will be bringing another new member to the cast, but one we’ve already met.

Word first surfaced over on Bleeding Cool and was then confirmed by HitFix that Don Cheadle is set to reprise his role as Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes (a.k.a. War Machine), last seen earlier this year in Iron Man 3.

Shane Black’s take on the Iron Man franchise saw Rhodey suit up in the Iron Patriot suit, and it will be interesting to see exactly what happens to him in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Like many characters from Phase One, he was missing from Whedon’s original The Avengers, but it’s looking like Whedon is putting together an even greater team – clearly, Ultron is not going to be a walk in the park.

Some people thought it was going to be difficult for Whedon to juggle having so many main characters, but he proved them all wrong with the epicness of The Avengers. So for anyone wary that he won’t be able to pull it off once more, with an even bigger ensemble (we’ve also got Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch to play with, not to mention Ultron as the antagonist), just remember what a great job he did first time around.

The second report notes that Rhodes has a key role in the conflict against Ultron, which is the main focus of the sequel.

With Robert Downey, Jr. only signed on for Avengers: Age of Ultron and the as-yet-untitled third Avengers film, and the possibility of an Iron Man 4 still very much in the air, it’s nice to see what Cheadle will be getting some more screen time in the meantime, and amongst an even greater cast.

Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released on May 1st, 2015, and it will bring a close to Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, before Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man kicks off Phase Three less than three months later.