Dominique Thorne’s Ironheart will debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Previously, it had been announced that Thorne would be playing the role of Riri Williams in an upcoming Ironheart TV series for Disney+. Prior to her appearance on the show, the character will first make her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut on the big screen in the anticipated sequel to Black Panther, as confirmed by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
“We’re shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in Black Panther 2 first,” Feige told ComicBook.com in an interview promoting Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. He went onto say about Dominique Thorne, “She started shooting, I think, this week before her Ironheart series.”
Riri Williams first appeared in Marvel Comics lore in 2016 when she was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato, making her debut in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 No. 7. She is a 15-year-old engineering student and super-genius who constructs her own suit of armor similar to the Iron Man Armor which she uses to fight crime. In the comics, Tony Stark meets with Riri and endorses her decision to become a superheroine I, though given the events of Avengers: Endgame, that probably won’t happen in the Ironheart series.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever recently started shooting in Atlanta with Ryan Coogler back in the director’s chair. As original star Chadwick Boseman passed away last year, the movie won’t feature T’Challa, as Feige has confirmed the role won’t be recast. The sequel stars the likes of Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, and Martin Freeman. It’s unclear how big of a role Ironheart will play in the story as plot details are tightly under wraps.
“I was at home in Delaware and I got a call asking if I would like to play this role,” Thorne previously told Empire of her Ironheart casting, revealing she didn’t even need to audition. “It was the best phone call I could have ever received. I was so shocked, in fact, that there was a considerable lag in the conversation! I was waiting for them to say, like, ‘Oh, we’ll send you the sides’, or, ‘Get your tape over to us.’ But there was none of that. It was just like, ‘Would you like to do this?’ It was probably the most unique experience I’ve ever had because there was no audition at all.”
Animated versions of Ironheart have appeared in previous Marvel projects, but Dominique Thorne will play the first live-action incarnation. In December 2020, Ironheart was named along with a slew of other titles in development at Marvel Studios for Disney+. Also announced were new shows Secret Invasion with Samuel L. Jackson and Emilia Clarke, Armor Wars with Don Cheadle back as War Machine, and an animated series of shorts called I Am Groot featuring the popular character from Guardians of the Galaxy.
The latest of the Disney+ shows, What If…?, recently premiered on Disney+. An animated series, the show reimagines how certain events would have played out differently in the MCU. This series followed the successful Marvel shows WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki. Shows like Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye are also coming soon.