In 2020, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced that Riri Williams, a.k.a. Ironheart, would spring to life from comic pages in her own original series starring Dominique Thorne. Ironheart will hit Disney+ sometime in fall of 2023 as a part of Phase Five. And, while details about the series are still pretty scarce, Riri Williams’ comic history will provide its foundation. We finally met Riri “Ironheart” Williams in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, an appearance that set the stage for diving into her story. Here’s everything you need to know about Ironheart.
The series title is Marvel Studios’ Ironheart.
Ironheart will focus on Riri Williams, a brilliant Black girl inventor who creates a high-tech metal suit like Iron Man’s. As we discover in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Riri is a 19 year old MIT student who is “running” a homework business. Oh, and she also builds a vibranium detection machine that puts her in the path of Namor, the leader of a underwater nation who is willing to kill her to protect his people. Of course, she’s alive and well at the end of the film and heading back to Massachusetts… for now. Right now, there are no solid details about the show. But it is possible that the show will bounce between her native Chicago and MIT, where MJ and Ned also happen to be.
Thorne spoke to Variety, revealing that Wakanda Forever only shows a preview of Riri’s personality and brilliance.
“The film does such a good job of showcasing one sliver, one side of who she is. We get a little taste of the colors that exist within her — we see her as a hustler; we see her as a little bit of a bully; we see her fearful; we see her in all these different lights. But primarily, she is in a world of confusion. This is her outside of her element, in the very opposite of her comfort zone, so the Riri that we see, it’s a bit of fight or flight [mode].
That’s such a great place for the audience to be because by the time that they get to Ironheart, they are in for the chance to sink into who she is truly, without the war of the worlds [between the kingdoms of Wakanda and Talokan] in the background. We get to see who she is day-to-day, but also get a bit more of an understanding of the genius that got her into this situation in the first place.”
We did get some intel about Ironheart‘s story from Disney’s D23 Expo. During Marvel Studios’ portion of the events, it was revealed that Anthony Ramos would play Parker Robbins, a.k.a The Hood. While The Hood is a villain in Marvel’s comics, in the Ironheart show, it seems he will be an ally of sorts.
Additionally, the show will highlight the theme of magic vs. technology. The Hood will represent magic, while ostensibly, Riri will represent technology. In a clip not revealed outside of D23, Riri mentions she has a suit of armor but wants to build a better one. Additionally, Jim Rash will return as his MIT character from Captain America: Civil War. We can’t wait to get a better look at the show soon.
Behind the Scenes
Playwright, poet, and Snowpiercer writer Chinaka Hodge will lead the show’s writing team as a head writer. According to Deadline, Sam Bailey and Angela Barnes will direct the series. In addition, Proximity, Ryan Coogler’s production company, will serve as one of the show’s producers. Coogler is also onboard the series as an executive producer alongside Kevin Feige. Ironheart finished its filming in November 2022.
Dominique Thorne will take on the leading role of Riri “Ironheart” Williams in the MCU. She will be joined by Anthony Ramos of Hamilton and In the Heights fame, who will play The Hood. This Is Us mainstay Lyric Ross will portray Riri’s best friend. In the comics, Riri’s BFF Natalie died way before she became an iron hero but lived on through N.A.T.A.L.I.E. This AI program takes her friend’s form and they work together much like Stark and J.A.R.V.I.S. did. It remains to be seen if this friend will be alive, appear in flashbacks, or operate as AI in the series. Or, perhaps it is not Natalie at all but rather a new character.
Deadline reported in June that Manny Montana joined Ironheart as a series regular. We don’t have details about his role though. We also learned that Solo‘s Alden Ehrenreich was set to join the series as well, also in an unannounced role. Nine Perfect Strangers‘ Zoe Terakes and GLOW‘s Shakira Barrera have also joined the series, again, in an undisclosed but “key” role. Jim Rash will reprise his MIT character from Civil War.
Excitingly enough, we learned that Ru Paul’s Drag Race winner Shea Couleé has joined Ironheart in a mystery role. We can’t wait to learn more. Additionally, it has been reported that Regan Aliyah has joined the cast in an undisclosed role, as have Rashida “Sheedz” Olayiwola, Sonia Denis, Paul Calderón, and Cree Summer.
Ironheart‘s Release Date
The Disney+ series doesn’t have a release date yet, but we know it will debut fall 2023.
Originally published on March 1, 2022.