Black Panther: Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore has revealed that the highly-anticipated Marvel Studios film will lead directly into the events of the Disney+ original series Ironheart, which will see Dominique Thorne reprise her role as Riri Williams.
“So, the show is a direct sequel to the movie,” Moore said during an interview with CinemaBlend. “So, Riri is carrying the experiences she had in this movie back home to MIT and there’s some interesting repercussions to her adventures that will set her on a fun course.”
Back in December 2020, Marvel Studios officially announced an Ironheart series for Disney+, with Thorne being cast in the lead role of Riri Williams/Ironheart. However, it later came to light that Thorne would actually be making her debut as Riri in the film Wakanda Forever, itself a sequel to Marvel’s hit 2018 film Black Panther. Thorne’s Riri has been featured prominently in promotional material and merchandise for Wakanda Forver, offering fans a look at numerous iterations of the Ironheart armor.
Wakanda Forever is slated to premiere in theaters on Friday, Nov. 11 to close out Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Marvel Studios confirmed that Ironheart would premiere on Disney+ as part of Phase Five. The series is currently targeting a fall 2023 premiere.
Ironheart Joins the MCU
Created by Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Deodato, Eve Ewing and Kevin Libranda, Riri Williams/Ironheart made her first full appearance in 2016’s Invincible Iron Man #9. The character has since gone on to star in multiple solo titles, in addition to becoming a key member of the Champions alongside the likes of Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales/Spider-Man and Sam Alexander/Nova.
In the Marvel comic books, Riri is a teenage engineering student who — following the death of her father, Demetrius “Riri” Williams Sr. — lives with her mother Ronnie and aunt Sharon in Chicago. While away at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Riri manages to create an Iron Man-like suit of armor using material stolen from the campus. While Riri’s exploits initially land her in hot water, the original Iron Man himself, Tony Stark, emerges to endorse her as the world’s newest armored superhero.
In addition to Thorne, Marvel Studios and Disney+’s live-action Ironheart series stars Anthony Ramos as Parker Robbins/The Hood, with Community alum Jim Rash attached to reprise his role as the Dean of MIT from 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Meanwhile, Lyric Ross has been cast as Riri’s best friend. Solo: A Star Wars Story alum Alden Ehrenreich has been cast in an undisclosed role, as have Harper Anthony, Manny Montana, Shea Couleé, Zoe Terakes, Regan Aliyah, Shakira Barrera, Rashida “Sheedz” Olayiwola, Sonia Denis, Paul Calderón and Cree Summer.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens in theaters on Nov. 11. Ironheart premieres on Disney+ in fall 2023.