Robert Downey Jr. Had Some Great Advice For His Marvel Successor

Robert Downey Jr. told Dominique Thorne to make Riri Williams, "her own thing."

By James Brizuela | Published

For those who happened to have seen any sort of promotion for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, you may have noticed a girl working on and flying her own Iron Man armor suit, which is Riri Williams aka Ironheart. Riri Williams is portrayed by Dominique Thorne in the new Marvel movie, and shared the advice she got from her predecessor, Robert Downey Jr. According to Thorne, “He had some beautiful words to say about how much he believes that Riri Williams is and should always be her own person, her own thing.”

Robert Downey Jr. portrayed Tony Stark aka Iron Man for the better part of 11 years, after finally giving his life at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Now, we are set to see a brand-new armored genius in the form of Riri Williams’s Ironheart. The character is also set to get her own series on Disney+ during Phase 5 of the MCU, which will officially premiere in the fall of 2023.

ironheart robert downey jr.

Robert Downey Jr.’s advice that Riri Williams is her own thing is quite astute, as the world is likely not to want Ironheart to be a carbon copy of Iron Man. Despite Riri Williams taking on the mantle of the next Iron Man, she shouldn’t be the same, and from her introduction during Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, she certainly won’t be. Iron Man and Tony Stark are something completely unique, as Riri Williams should be as well.

Robert Downey Jr. also bowed out of the role of Iron Man with as much dignity and grace as possible, and if Marvel decided to attempt to make another character that was meant to emulate him in any way, it would feel a bit disrespectful. Thankfully, as previously stated, Riri Williams is certainly her own character in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Without spoiling anything major, Riri Williams may possess the same level of intellect as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), but she is certainly nowhere near the man in mannerisms and demeanor. Williams is expertly portrayed by Dominique Thorne, and it appears as though her big advice from Downey paid off, as she is certainly not attempting to copy him in any way. We can’t wait to see more of Thorne as Williams when the Ironheart series officially debuts next year.

Fans will certainly have to differentiate between Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark and Dominique Thorne’s Riri Williams. While Williams does use Stark Tech to build her suit, she is also aided by Wakanda and given items of vibranium quality, so her suit might be a bit more indestructible than Tony’s suit. She does use the same type of A.I. that Tony uses though, so that is a great nod to the man himself.

For those wanting to see Riri Williams in action, you can see her debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is in theaters right now. Fans will immediately recognize some nods to Robert Downey Jr., which was expected given that both his character and Thornes use an Iron Man suit. However, Williams is not Stark, and that should be a given despite both characters looking almost the same in their high-tech suits.