Oscar-nominated MCU star Don Cheadle is set to make his Saturday Night Live hosting debut in February, with musical guest Gary Clark Jr. As much of a well-oiled machine as Marvel Studios now operates, the early days saw a fair amount of growing pains. The most immediately noticeable were two major re-castings. After The Incredible Hulk, Edward Norton exited as Bruce Banner, and was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in The Avengers. Meanwhile, Terrance Howard originated the role of Tony Stark’s pal James Rhodes in the first Iron Man movie, but was ultimately replaced in Iron Man 2 by Cheadle.
While there are some who still prefer Howard’s rendition of Rhodey, for the most part, fans had no real problem with the change. It certainly helps that Cheadle is a terrific, highly acclaimed actor in his own right, earning an Oscar nomination for his work in Hotel Rwanda, and a Golden Globe win for his Showtime series House of Lies, among other honors. Cheadle has since returned to the role of Colonel James “War Machine” Rhodes in Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War, and is also expected back for 2019’s Avengers: Endgame.
In the meantime, The Wrap reports that Cheadle is headed to a venue he’s never before appeared in: Studio 8H in New York City. Cheadle is set to host Saturday Night Live for the first time ever on February 16, and will be joined by musical guest Gary Clark Jr. Clark is also a newcomer to the SNL stage.
Cheadle will by no means be the first MCU star to host Saturday Night Live. Robert Downey Jr. hosted SNL way back in 1996, long before the MCU. He was actually also a cast member on the show, albeit for a brief period. Chris Hemsworth hosted SNL in 2015, famously turning down what would’ve been a racially-charged sketch. Scarlett Johansson is herself a member of the vaunted five-timers club, hosting for the fifth time in 2017. Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Chadwick Boseman, and Josh Brolin have also hosted, and that’s not even the whole list.
As for Cheadle’s work outside the MCU, the actor recently voiced Donald Duck on an episode of the DuckTales reboot, and plays a leading role on the new Showtime comedy Black Monday. That series follows the year leading up to the titular day in 1987 when stock markets crashed all over the world. It’s unclear how much longer his tenure as War Machine will continue, as while he survived Thanos’ snap, that doesn’t mean he’ll survive The Avengers’ final showdown with the intergalactic villain in Avengers: Endgame.
Source: The Wrap