During Disney’s 2021 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 those have already rolled out, like Ms. Marvel, a comic starring a teen girl who idolizes Captain Marvel and becomes a superhero in her own right.
With that series doing well, 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.
DOMINIQUE THORNE WILL PLAY RIRI WILLIAMS/ 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 came out 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.
LYRIC ROSS WILL PLAY IRONHEART’S BEST FRIEND
A few weeks after the February 2022 announcement that Anthony Ramos was joining the cast of Ironheart in an undisclosed role, THR reported that Lyric Ross had been cast as Riri Williams’ best friend in the upcoming series. Ross is best known for her role on This Is Us, where she plays Deja Pearson.
The name of Ross’ character hasn’t been revealed; only that she’ll be the hero’s best friend. This could mean she’s playing Natalie Washington from the source material and, if so, she may not be in the series for very long. Natalie is killed in a flashback in 2016’s Invincible Iron Man #1 along with Riri Williams’ stepfather during a drive-by shooting.
ANTHONY RAMOS IS IN THE CAST AS PARKER ROBBINS/ THE HOOD
In February 2022, Deadline broke the news that Anthony Ramos had joined the cast of Ironheart in a (then) top-secret role. The 30-year-old heartthrob was nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the televised production of Hamilton.
More recently, he impressed critics with his performance as the male lead Usnavi of In the Heights.
In Ironheart, Anthony Ramos will play Parker Robbins / The Hood. In the show, this character will be a friend of Riri Williams and will bring a magical element to the show. In the comics, The Hood is a villain but that might not be so clear cut in this show if the two have a friendship to start.
There are likely to be some blurred lines here, though make no mistake, The Hood is definitely a riser in the criminal underworld and that could put he and Williams at odds.
RIRI WILLIAMS IS A TEENAGER WHO BUILDS HER OWN IRON MAN SUIT
Riri Williams is a genius inventor. At 15 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 that premiered on Disney+ in 2022.
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?
IRONHEART IS SET TO HIT DISNEY+ IN LATE 2023
There have been no official announcements for a release date for the series, though the plan is for 2023. That being said, they’ve told us it’s coming, which means it’s part of Marvel’s Phase Four or Phase Five. We’ll be watching Marvel’s announcements for more news.
RIRI WILLIAMS FIRST CAME TO MARVEL AS IRONHEART IN 2015
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.
DOMINQUE THORNE MADE HER MCU DEBUT AS IRONHEART IN BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER
Although we won’t be getting the Disney+ premiere of Marvel’s Ironheart until late 2023, it doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a lot of movement on the production of the series. In fact, we saw the introduction of Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, well before the series dropped.
Thorne made her Marvel debut in the 2022 Marvel film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The 24-year-old Thorne first jumped onto the scene in the 2018 film, If Beale Street Could Talk, then again three years later in Judas and the Black Messiah. You can get a couple of quick glimpses of Thorne as Williams in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer below or watch the movie on Disney+.
Since the time of Thorne’s announcement, there has been plenty of other casting news. We found out that Anthony Ramos was joining the cast. We also found out that Manny Montana, Lyric Ross, Zoe Terakes, and Harper Anthony were also set to join Thorne.
But the biggest surprise came when Marvel announced that Han Solo star, Alden Ehrenreich, would be joining the cast. As with most other Ironheart cast members, Ehrenreich’s character is being closely guarded. There are a few theories as to who Ehrenreich could play with many landing on one – Ezekiel “Zeke” Stane. Zeke is a villain to Iron Man and like Riri Williams, is a brilliant inventor who loves to play with biotech and cybernetics.
SEE THE FIRST LOOKS AT DOMINQUE THORNE AND ANTHONY RAMOS IN IRONHEART
While we don’t have many more details on the Ironheart series, we do know (finally and SPOILER ALERT) who Anthony Ramos will be playing. A recent photo leak on Twitter shows Ramos in full garb as Parker Robbins/The Hood.
Also, as another SPOILER ALERT, we have Dominique Thorne in our first glimpse of her as Ironheart. You can see Thorne all dressed up below.
The Disney+ series will consist of six episodes and will be directed by the team of Samantha Bailey and Angela Barnes. Thankfully, fans don’t have to wait to see Thorne as Ironheart as Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever streaming on Disney+ now.
Along with Thorne’s debut as Ironheart, the second Black Panther film pays tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman and also introduces another popular Marvel character, Namor, who is played by Tenoch Huerta.
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