During Disney’s Investors Day presentation, Marvel’s Kevin Feige announced a long list of television series and movies coming to Disney in the coming years. Some of them we can expect to see soon, like Ms. Marvel, a comic starring a teen girl who idolizes Captain Marvel and becomes a superhero in her own right. Hopefully that series does well, because a similar audience will be ready to pick up Disney+’s next series, Ironheart. Introduced in the comics as an inventor to rival Tony Stark, Riri Williams has fast become a beloved Marvel character.
Here’s everything we know so far about Ironheart.
What Ironheart Is About
Riri Williams is a genius inventor. At fifteen years old, she creates her own suit of armor using stolen materials at MIT. She isn’t rich. She doesn’t have the legacy of Stark Industries backing her, but the suit she designs is considered the best since Tony Stark’s Iron Man. Eventually, she becomes the hero, Ironheart, and takes over responsibilities for Iron Man.
It’s likely the story will cover Ironheart’s origins. We’ll have the opportunity to watch Riri Williams build the suit, meet Tony Stark, and rise into her own power and genius.
It also seems likely that if the series continues, it will build into the Young Avengers. The comics have been setting up this team for a while now with characters like Kate Bishop, a successor to Hawkeye, and Ms. Marvel, who has her own television series airing on Disney+ in 2021. Other Young Avengers from the comics include America Chavez, Speed, and Stature. It’s been guessed by many that Riri Williams will become the leader of the Young Avengers. Could we see that happen in Ironheart?
The Cast Of Ironheart
In December of 2020 we got our first casting announcement for Ironheart with Dominique Thorne as the main character, Riri Williams. Thorne was previously in the 2018 movie If Beale Street Could Talk. She plays a larger role in the movie Judas and the Black Messiah, which comes out later in 2021.
Beyond Riri, Disney hasn’t cast any characters or told us anything else. However, the stories in the comic series give us a lot to think about. In the comics, Riri Williams has strong ties to Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jr. has said repeatedly that he isn’t stepping back into the role. However he has publicly supported the notion of Riri Williams taking up the spot Iron Man has left behind, and there are strong rumors suggesting he will show up in Ironheart.
At the same time, Riri has a close relationship with Pepper Potts. The character is a mentor to Riri. Gwyneth Paltrow has also said she’s done playing the role. She’s even said she isn’t all that interested in acting anymore. However, the relationship with Pepper Potts reads as important in the Ironheart series, so perhaps they’ll be able to convince Paltrow to return, or recast her for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There have been no official announcements for a release date for the series. That being said, they’ve told us it’s coming, which means it’s part of Marvel’s Phase 4 or Phase 5. The earliest we could expect to see Ironheart on Disney+ is 2022, but 2023 is just as likely. We’ll be watching Marvel’s announcements for more news.
The Marvel Comic Origins Of Riri Williams
Ironheart was first introduced to Marvel comics in 2015 by writers Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mike Deodato. She first appeared in Invincible Iron Man No. 7 and was popular enough to break out into her own series. This was met with some critique and controversy as fans felt his work didn’t reflect the experiences Riri Williams would have as a young Black woman.
Eventually, writer Eve Ewing was brought in. Eve Ewing is a poet, sociologist, and Harvard graduate. She teamed up with artist Kevin Libranda and they redesigned the character. Following this, Ironheart grew to become a beloved new Marvel character. She’s appeared in several issues of Ms. Marvel.