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Black Panther 2 will introduce new hero Ironheart: Who is she?

Dominique Thorne will play Riri Williams, aka the next Iron Man (Woman).

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Dominique Thorne attends the If Beale Street Could Talk US premiere during the 2018 New York Film Festival at The Apollo Theater.
Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Dominique Thorne has one more stop before she stars in Ironheart, an upcoming Marvel series on Disney Plus. Her character Riri Williams, a teen so clever she creates her own Iron Man suit and becomes superhero Ironheart, will debut in Black Panther sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

"We're shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in Black Panther 2 first," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige recently told ComicBook.com. "She started shooting, I think, this week before her Ironheart series."

So who is Ironheart? And what's her connection with Iron Man? Let's dive into her backstory below.

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The Ironheart series was announced in 2020 during Disney's investors call.

Marvel Studios

Who is Ironheart?

In the comics, Riri Williams is a teen super-genius growing up in Chicago. She tinkers with inventions intended to assist passing superheroes until, at an impressive 11 years old, she receives a scholarship from MIT. But then tragedy strikes: Riri's best friend Natalie and her step-father are killed in a drive-by shooting.

What's her connection to Iron Man?

At the MIT campus, Riri challenges herself to secretly build her own suit of armor. She does so by stealing material from the university, ending up with her own version of an Iron Man suit. She then puts her new capabilities to the test by stopping two prison inmates during their attempted jail break.

A certain Tony Stark catches wind of Riri's victory and visits the budding armored hero to give her his blessing.

What else do we know about Black Panther 2?

The sequel to 2018's Black Panther is scheduled for release on July 8, 2022. Ryan Coogler will return to direct, along with original cast members Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Daniel Kaluuya Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, and Martin Freeman.

Marvel chose not to recast the role of T'Challa following Chadwick Boseman's death. Marvel chief Kevin Feige said that the next film will focus on exploring "different subcultures" of Wakanda.

"Wakanda is a place to further explore with characters and different subcultures. This was always and initially the primary focus of the next story," he told Deadline in January.

When will the Ironheart series come out on Disney Plus?

No official release date yet, but it's speculated to arrive sometime in 2022 at the earliest.