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Black Panther 2 trailer’s new Iron Man is the one and only Ironheart

Big-brain superhero Riri Williams joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams aks Ironheart flying inside Iron Man-esque armor with a HUD display in front of her Image: Marvel Studios
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Marvel Studios brings a new armor-clad superhero to movie theaters (and eventually Disney Plus) with Ironheart, the heir apparent of the late Tony Stark. Ironheart will appear in both this year’s Black Panther sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and in a standalone, self-titled series for Disney Plus in 2023. And in the new trailer for Wakanda Forever, which will release on Nov. 11, 2022, we see the young hero soaring into battle for the first time.

Ironheart’s alter ego is Riri Williams, a genius inventor who creates what Marvel describes as “the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man.” Played by Dominique Thorne (If Beale Street Could Talk), young Riri takes on the mantle of Ironheart after she builds her own suit of souped-up armor — one that she’ll apparently upgrade with the advanced technology of Wakanda and its powerful extraterrestrial element, Vibranium.

“The film deals with a lot of things, but one of them is foils — people who exist in contrast, but there’s a thread of similarity,” Ryan Coogler explained to Entertainment Weekly. “In this film, we get to see Shuri meet someone who has some things in common with her, but is also very, very different.”

Riri Williams made her Marvel Comics debut in 2016, in the pages of Invincible Iron Man. While studying engineering at MIT — Tony Stark’s alma mater — Riri reverse-engineers an older model of Iron Man’s armor and fights a bit of crime, naturally garnering the attention of Stark and later working alongside an AI duplicate of Tony after he fell into a coma.

Ironheart, due out in Fall 2023, isn’t the only Iron Man spinoff in the works for Disney Plus. Marvel Studios also has Armor Wars, based on the classic comic series of the same name, was recently promoted from a Disney Plus series to a full-fledged theatrical film. The movie will bring back Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, aka War Machine, to contend with Stark tech falling into the wrong hands.

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