With the Marvel Cinematic Universe now fully finishing the original Avengers’ arc and having solved the Thanos Infinity Stones crisis, the franchise is moving fully into a new world, one replete with Multiverse iterations and new characters being introduced into the mix. Many upcoming productions will help shift the landscape for the world of Marvel characters and one of those will be Black Panther 2. The return to Wakanda will open up a number of new storylines with character shifts and one of those set to be introduced is Robert Downey Jr.’s replacement in the Iron Man suit. According to Comicbook.com, Riri Williams will make her debut as Ironheart in this sequel, just one of the many changes we will see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward.
This Black Panther 2 news was confirmed to Comicbook.com in an interview with Marvel head Kevin Feige who didn’t mix words about this casting for the movie. He was clear when he said, “We’re shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in Black Panther 2 first…She started shooting, I think, this week before her Ironheart series.” There you have it, folks, Feige is referring to actress Dominique Thorne who will play the part of Riri Williams/ Ironheart.
While it isn’t totally clear how Ironheart will factor into the plot of Black Panther 2, this will be the first time we see her on the big screen, and before the aforementioned series of the same name. We could see her as a fully-formed character at this point, coming to Wakanda for possibly upgrades on her suit or checking into a fight on that front. Or we could see her at or near the beginning of her timeline as well. There is a significant amount of latitude with what Marvel can do with this new story.
However we see Riri Williams as Ironheart in Black Panther 2, we do know that she is now the functional replacement for Robert Downey Jr. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at least for the time being. While a relatively new character in the Marvel canon (introduced in 2016) she begins her journey by creating a suit of tech armor that is a close approximation to the original Iron Man suit. In the comics, it is so good in fact that Tony Stark takes notice and ultimately takes her under his wing. This is what helps her upgrade the tech and become the superhero Ironheart.
We do know that we won’t be seeing Robert Downey Jr. in Black Panther 2 and likely not in the Ironheart series as well, so Riri might have a slightly different origin story along those lines. But in all, she is going to be the new version of this character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As for Black Panther 2, this new movie will be introducing new titles along other fronts as well. That is because, of course, there will be someone taking up a new mantle for the titular character as well. With the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman last summer, the franchise was left with a devastatingly massive void. It is still unclear who will be taking on this new character in the universe with some speculation it will be Letitia Wright’s Shuri. But that isn’t totally clear as of this point with other parts of the movie being kept tightly under wraps. Black Panther 2 is currently filming in Georgia.