Ironheart To Make MCU Debut In ‘Black Panther’ Sequel

Dominique Thorne will star in Disney's Ironheart. CREDIT: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Marvel heroine and Iron Man successor Ironheart will be making her superhero debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Actor Dominque Thorne, known for her roles in Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) and If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), will star as Riri Williams—the real name of superheroine Ironheart—in her own Disney+ series. Before that, however, she will be introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the big screen next year.

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige disclosed the news during an interview with “We’re shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in Black Panther 2 first,” he said. “She started shooting, I think, this week before her Ironheart series.”

The character of Riri Williams was first introduced to the world of Marvel comics in 2016. A 15-year-old MIT student and engineering prodigy, she is inspired by Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit to create her own. With the support of the Stark Industries billionaire genius, Riri takes on the superhero name and responsibilities of Ironheart.

The Ironheart series was first announced in December 2020 during Disney’s Investor Day, and does not yet have a release date.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to be released in theatres on 8 July 2022. Production began in June 2021, and details on the project are being kept under wraps. Last month, Variety exclusively revealed that I May Destroy You creator and star Michaela Coel had joined the cast in an unknown role. Although it is currently unclear as to who will star in the sequel to 2018’s Black Panther, various original cast members—including Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, and Florence Kasumba—are expected to reprise their roles from the previous film. Michael B. Jordan, meanwhile, has claimed that he is unlikely to return to his role as Erik Killmonger, with the character having died in the previous installment—although it would not be the first time that Marvel has resurrected the ostensibly dead.

It’s also unclear at this point how the sequel will address the death of Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed the title character in the first film and starred in multiple other MCU projects.

Chinaka Hodge, best known for her work on Apple’s Amazing Stories and TNT’s Snowpiercer, will be the head writer on Ironheart. Other MCU shows currently being produced for Disney+ are Hawkeye (which is set to premiere on 24 November 2021), Ms. Marvel (also scheduled for late 2021) and She-Hulk, which is set to be released on demand in 2022.

Words by Federica Battiato 

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