'Ironheart': What to Know About the Upcoming Disney Plus Series

Before Dominique Thorne stars in the Disney Plus Marvel series Ironheart, she'll appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever​.

Meara Isenberg Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
3 min read
Dominique Thorne in an Iron Man-like suit in a trailer for Black Panther 2.

Dominique Thorne in a new trailer for the Black Panther sequel, released Monday.

Screenshot by CNET

The official trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has arrived. The clip includes actress Dominique Thorne, who's making her debut as Riri Williams in the Black Panther sequel before appearing in the Disney Plus Marvel series Ironheart. 

Ironheart follows Williams, a "genius inventor who creates the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man," according to Marvel. That log line doesn't reveal a ton, but the comics offer plenty of hints about what the series might entail.

Riri Williams and Ironheart suit
Marvel Comics

What is Marvel's Ironheart about?

In the comics, Riri Williams is a teen genius who's offered a scholarship to MIT at just 11 years old. While she's a student, she steals materials from around campus and uses them to build an Iron Man-esque suit of armor. (The teen is a big admirer of Tony Stark and reverse-engineers one of his suits).

Williams quits school after being confronted by MIT for stealing. While testing out her suit, she apprehends two inmates fleeing from prison, but her suit gets damaged and she returns home to fix it. That's when none other than Tony Stark drops by, giving her his blessing to become a superhero.

When Riri is still a student, her best friend and stepdad die in a drive-by shooting. The name Ironheart is inspired by "the armor that Riri has been trying to build around herself ever since, both literally and figuratively," Marvel says.

Who's directing and in the cast?

Sam Bailey and Angela Barnes will direct the series. Bailey worked on the Netflix show Dear White People and the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls. Blindspotting, Mythic Quest and Atlanta are among Barnes' credits. 

Ironheart will be produced in part by Ryan Coogler's production company, Proximity. Coogler directed Black Panther and the film's upcoming sequel, Wakanda Forever, which will feature Williams. More on that below.

As mentioned, Ironheart stars Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams. The actor appeared in the 2014 film If Beale Street Could Talk and 2021's Judas and the Black Messiah.

In the Heights star, Anthony Ramos confirmed in a February Instagram post that he too would join the Ironheart cast. He'll be playing Parker Robbins/the Hood, a villain in Marvel's comics. As for what his character on the show will be like, Ramos shared a bit at D23 Expo 2022. "Parker believes truly that what he is doing is good," Ramos said, according to Marvel. "...Parker kicks ass. I don't know if I can say that, but I said it already."

In June, Deadline reported Good Girls actor Manny Montana would play a series regular on the show. Details about his character are still a mystery. This Is Us star Lyric Ross will play Williams' best friend, and RuPaul's Drag Race winner Shea Couleé and newcomer Harper Anthony are taking on unknown roles.

When will Marvel's Ironheart premiere?

Ironheart is scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2023. However, Dominique Thorne will make her debut as Williams well before then. She'll appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which drops on Nov. 11, 2022.

Thorne has now popped up in two trailers for the Black Panther sequel. In a July teaser, she appears dressed in an orange two-piece outfit and greets Shuri (Letitia Wright). Later, we see her hammer a heart out of a sheet of metal. 

In the official trailer, released on Oct. 3, we briefly see Thorne flying in armor. You can check it out below. 

How many episodes will there be?

The first season of Marvel's Ironheart will consist of six episodes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Chinaka Hodge will serve as head writer.

Will Ironheart have superpowers?

Riri Williams does not have any superhuman abilities in the comics, but she is incredibly intelligent, engineering her own complex armor. Eventually, that suit provides her with flight, superhuman strength and the ability to fire energy blasts from her gloves.

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