Marvel's Ironheart: Release Window, Cast, and Everything We Know So Far – Collider

Take a peak under the “Hood” of the series following Iron Man’s successor.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is rapidly approaching the conclusion of its fourth phase, the first part of Marvel's recently announced "Multiverse Saga". The sheer amount of content available in what has become the most profitable franchise in modern history is truly staggering, with several films and shows releasing every year with no signs of stopping for the upcoming fifth and sixth phases of the Multiverse Saga. However, none of this would be possible without the one superhero who started it all.
In 2008, the MCU was born with the release of Iron Man, directed by Jon Favreau and, of course, starring Robert Downey Jr. in the titular role. As most probably already know, the film was a massive critical and financial success that would go on to kickstart a franchise that is still alive and well to this very day. Today, we live in a world where the seemingly Invincible Iron Man is no longer avenging Earth, as Tony Stark famously sacrificed himself in an epic final battle with Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Avengers: Endgame. Now there is an Iron Man-shaped hole in the hearts of Marvel fans, and while the MCU has set up Tom Holland's Spider-Man as Tony Stark's mentee, there is another character who recently made her way into the world of Marvel comics that will be making her live-action debut very soon.
Riri Williams is a child genius who suits up as the crime-fighting Ironheart, wielding armor that's not unlike that of everyone's favorite genius billionaire playboy philanthropist. Though the character hasn't even existed in the comics for ten years, Ironheart has quickly become a fan favorite amongst the comics community, mainly for her unique characterization and lovable personality. While her anticipated Disney+ series is still a good ways away from release, we will be seeing Williams in at least one MCU project before then and recent set photos have revealed quite a few more details about her solo adventure.
So here is everything we know so far about Ironheart before this new MCU hero officially flies solo.
Related:Who is Ironheart, the Iron Man Successor to Be Introduced in 'Wakanda Forever'?
Williams will be brought to life by Dominique Thorne, who was a part of back-to-back hits firstly with If Beale Street Could Talk (2016) and then three years later with Judas and the Black Messiah, the latter of which was produced by Ryan Coogler, the filmmaker who will be directing Thorne in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
That's right, not only is Riri Williams confirmed to appear in the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther, Dominique Thorne can even be spotted in the movie's SDCC reveal trailer where she can be seen greeting Shuri (Letitia Wright) and we even get a brief tease of the first iteration of the Ironheart suit being built. Wiliams' connection to Wakanda is a big creative difference from the comics and though her exact role in the film isn't exactly known, she'll almost certainly be assisting in the conflict with Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and the Talocan.
So that's when we'll be first introduced to Ironheart, but there's another previously announced MCU Disney+ project that was noticeably absent at Marvel's panel at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con. Given that she has an armored super suit of her own, it's not a stretch to think that Riri could appear in the previously announced Armor Wars show, which is set to feature the return of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes AKA War Machine (a person who has an even more direct connection to Tony Stark). Again, Armor Wars was not announced to be a part of Marvel's Phase 5 slate, so it's possible it will appear sometime in Phase 6 or get squeezed in a little later into Phase 5 (let's just all hope that Marvel hasn't pulled a Batgirl and just canceled it altogether).
Like quite a few Marvel shows on Disney+, no official date has been set for Ironheart and it likely won't be revealed until we get closer to the show's planned timeframe. Thankfully we do know what that timeframe is, and Ironheart is currently set to fly onto Disney+ sometime in the Fall of 2023.
No, and likely it will be quite some time until we see any sort of official footage from the series given that Marvel is currently filming the show in Atlanta, Georgia. Due to this lack of footage, hard story details are also hard to come by, but the recent set photos that made their way online give a pretty good hint as to what characters we can expect to see, particularly which villain Riri Williams will be going toe to toe with.
Related:Jon Favreau Tried to Stop The Russo Brothers From Killing Tony Stark in 'Avengers: Endgame'
Though Riri Williams may have made her first comics appearance in the Invincible Iron Man comics, her origins actually didn't have anything to do with Mr. Stark. Riri started out as a seemingly normal young woman being raised in Chicago by her family, consisting of her mother, sister, and step-father. Riri's biological father, also named Riri Williams, died before she was born (though we find out later that Riri Williams Sr. is very much alive and working with the Ten Rings).
Riri seemingly lacked the social skills that a young child needs to succeed in life, but she made up for it by having a very high level of intellect. Despite the challenges that being an introvert caused her in her everyday life, Riri's intelligence eventually paid off when she was accepted into MIT before she even became a teenager. Unfortunately, not even Riri's brains could stop tragedy from striking, as her step-father and best friend Natalie were killed in a drive-by shooting.
This tragedy was the catalyst for Riri's desire to become a superhero. Inspired by one of her favorite heroes, Riri crafted an Iron Man suit of her own and took off to the skies to stop evil around the globe. Her vigilantism didn't go unnoticed, as Tony Stark himself offered to take Williams under his wing and had him assist her in a new Civil War conflict with Captain Marvel (another pretty clear mirror to Spider-Man's role in Captain America: Civil War). Stark was knocked into a coma as a result of the war, and Williams adopted the Iron Man-tle in his absence, teaming up with a wide variety of heroes in the process and becoming just as recognizable as her mentor and father figure.
Like the rest of the plot, no official details have been given on Ironheart's main villain, but recent set photos have revealed a character who shares a striking resemblance to a fan-favorite bad guy. The picture in question features Hamilton and In the Heights star Anthony Ramos wielding a pistol and wearing a very distinctive red hood.
The visual alone almost undoubtedly suggests that Ramos is playing The Hood; a classic street-level Marvel Comics antagonist whose motivations are as simple as his name. Historically named Parker Robbins, The Hood's origins aren't all that dissimilar from the MCU's very own Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Robbins started his criminal career as a small-time burglar, pursuing a seemingly simple score only to discover a demon wearing a red hood. Robbins shot and killed the beast and stole the garment, realizing that the hood granted him a multitude of magical abilities including teleportation and energy projection. What he didn't know at the time is that the powers came from the Doctor Strange villain Dormammu, who would go on to slowly possess him over time.
The key difference between Parker Robbins and Scott Lang is that The Hood had never found the superhero lifestyle to be all that appealing. Ever since he was young, Parker found himself being much more interested in being a supervillain who had no obligation to do as they were told as long as they didn't get caught. Not to mention the more nefarious career path was far more lucrative, and Parker needed the money to help assist his ill mother. So he's not totally heartless as he cares for his family members and those close to him, but to those who don't fit into those categories, Robbins was just bad from the start.
The Hood isn't your average villain of the week like Shocker or Stilt Man either. He eventually reached a point of influence and power in the comics that allowed the Hood to create one of the few criminal empires that got even close to matching that of the notorious Kingpin. We'll have to wait and see what Ironheart will do to stand in his way, but whatever it was, our hero will need to tread lightly to take on a villain like The Hood.
Related:Marvel’s ‘Ironheart’ Logo Revealed for New Series Coming to Disney+
The cast members who will be joining Dominique Thorne and Anthony Ramos include Alden Ehrenreich of Solo: A Star Wars Story fame. Interestingly enough, according to IMDb, Ehrenreich is listed as playing Riri Williams. Could this simply be a typo or logistical error? Yeah, but it could also mean that Ehrenreich is playing Riri Williams Sr. and will be playing the father to the titular hero. Ehrenreich is a bit young to realistically be the father of Dominique Thorne, so he could only be playing the character in a flashback or simply isn't playing a Riri Willaims at all. Either way, it's nice to see another Star Wars alumnus enter the MCU.
The cast is rounded out by Manny Montana (Graceland), Lyric Ross (This is Us), Shea Couleé (Ru Paul's Drag Race), Harper Anthony (Vulture City), and Zoe Terakes (Wentworth).
As per usual, Kevin Feige is the man in charge of the series serving as executive producer once again, and Ryan Coogler (as well as his wife Zizi Coogler) will reunite with Dominique Thorne to produce the show as well.
The series is expected to be six episodes long, and all six episodes are reportedly being directed by Samantha Bailey (You're So Talented) and Angela Barnes (Blindspotting). The six episodes will also be written by Chinaka Hodge (Snowpiercer) and Eve Ewing, who will be making their television writing debut with Ironheart.
Aidan Kelley is a resource writer for Collider, as well as an independent filmmaker and lover of all things cinema.
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