Marvel's next Disney Plus show has heart. Or, more specifically, Ironheart. A relatively-recently introduced Marvel hero, Ironheart / Riri Williams is set to be the star of her own upcoming Marvel series.
But, first, we're going to meet her in the next upcoming Marvel movie — Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. We're unclear on the role Ironheart will play, but the trailer makes it seem like the new hero will assist the Wakandans against the attacks of Namor, the Submariner (Tenoch Huerta).
Oh, and as you might have guessed given her name, Ironheart has some connections to Iron Man. We've got all of the details from the comics, which will likely differ in the shows and movies, below.
On top of all of that, Ironheart seems to be on track. Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore told Collider (opens in new tab) that the Ironheart series was nearly done filming in October 2022. He also noted that Danai Gurira's Okoye will be in the Wakanda-based Disney Plus show.
Ironheart cast: Who is Ironheart?
Right now, few members of the Ironheart cast are official-official. Chief among them is Dominique Thorne, who plays Riri Williams, the teenager who takes the name Ironheart. Thorne makes her MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and has been seen in the trailers hammering away (likely on her Ironheart armor). Thorne has previously appeared in If Beale Street Could Talk and Judas and the Black Messiah.
The casting of In The Heights star Anthony Ramos as Parker Robbins / The Hood was confirmed at the D23 2022 expo earlier this year. The Wrap (opens in new tab) reports that the audience on-hand saw footage of Thorne and Ramos in the movie, and it looked as if Robbins isn't exactly a good guy. Also at D23, ScreenRant (opens in new tab) reported that Jim Rash (Community) will appear as the Dean of MIT (he also appeared in Captain America: Civil War).
According to Deadline, Solo: A Star Wars Story star Alden Eherenreich will also appear in the show in "a key role." The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) broke the news that Lyric Ross (This Is Us) joined the cast.
Other reported and unconfirmed cast members include Sonia Denis (opens in new tab) (Brown Girls, High Maintenance), newcomer Harper Anthony (opens in new tab), Manny Montana (opens in new tab) (Good Girls), RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Shea Couleé (opens in new tab), Zoe Terakes (opens in new tab) (Nine Perfect Strangers, Wentworth), Regan Aliyah (opens in new tab) (XO, Kitty), Shakira Barrera (opens in new tab) (GLOW), Rashida “Sheedz” Olayiwola (opens in new tab) (South Side), Paul Calderón (opens in new tab) (Pulp Fiction, Bosch) and Cree Summer (opens in new tab) (A Different World).
If you prefer lists, here's an easier way to digest that deluge:
- Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart
- Anthony Ramos as Parker Robbins
- Jim Rash as an MIT dean
- Lyric Ross in a TBA role
- Harper Anthony in a TBA role
- Manny Montana in a TBA role
- Alden Ehrenreich in a TBA role
- Shea Couleé in a TBA role
- Zoe Terakes in a TBA role
- Regan Aliyah in a TBA role
- Shakira Barrera in a TBA role
- Rashida "Sheedz" Olayiwola in a TBA role
- Sonia Denis in a TBA role
- Paul Calderón in a TBA role
- Cree Summer in a TBA role
Ironheart release date window
Ironheart is coming in Fall 2023, as Marvel announced in its Phase 5 and 6 movies and shows news at San Diego Comic-Con 2023.
Who is Ironheart? Identity and lore
Ironheart looks like the latest teenaged-spark of brilliance to come to the MCU, following Ms. Marvel. In the MCU, per the copy on Marvel's own site, Ironheart aka Riri Williams is "a genius inventor who creates the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man."
While further details of the MCU's take on Ironheart will next be seen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever where she makes her debut, the character dates back to 2016, when she was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis — first appearing in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #7.
Riri Williams is basically the Tony Stark of her generation, except she's much younger. She's even mourning the death of her own father, Riri Williams Sr., just like Tony. Originally from Chicago, this certified super-genius got a scholarship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the age of 15. There, she builds her own suit of armor, one that's intentionally similar to Stark's by reverse-engineering the Mark-41 design — except hers is made with material stolen from the campus. She then flies away from school once security comes knocking.
After a quick adventure where she stopped inmates fleeing New Mexico State Penitentiary, Williams came home to meet ... Tony Stark. This will probably not happen in the MCU — Tony's dead and we love him 3,000 — unless there are some big flashbacks coming. Mr. Stark then encourages Williams to become a hero. She later helps Stark fend off Captain Marvel (Marvel's Civil War storylines got wild), before he was left in a comatose state. The name Ironheart is then suggested to Riri by the A.I. version of Stark.
In the comics, Ironheart's fought everyone from Will-o’-the-Wisp to Thanos. Interestingly enough for upcoming Marvel movies and shows, Ironheart's biggest rival/villain is Lucia von Bardas, a cyborg from Latveria — you know, the kingdom ruled by Dr. Victor von Doom.