Another star has been added to the 'Black Panther' follow-up, set to make her debut ahead of her Disney+ series.
The superhero named Ironheart is expected to make her MCU debut in the upcoming 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'.
The movie, which is currently in active production in Atlanta, will introduce Riri Williams AKA Ironheart into the Marvel Cinematic Universe fold. Dominique Thorne ('Judas and the Black Messiah') has been cast in the role, an actor who was due to take centre stage in her own Disney+ live-action series in the future. Instead, she will be introduced to us in the action sequel before leading her own series.
While talking about 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings', Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed the news with ComicBook.com. He told the publication: "We're shooting 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in 'Black Panther 2' first.
"She started shooting, I think, this week before her 'Ironheart' series."
In the comics, Ironheart has a close connection with Tony Stark's Iron Man. She first appeared in 2016's Invincible Iron Man #7 as she begins engineering her own Iron Man armour, after which Tony Stark reaches out to her to be an ally. However, with the hero having passed away in the MCU, her origin story is likely to be quite different; Robert Downey Jr. is not expected to reprise his role once again.
Riri Williams joins the huge all-star cast of the action sequel. Director Ryan Coogler's movie also features the return of Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angela Bassett. Michaela Coel has also joined the cast in an unspecified role.
According to reports, 'Black Panther 2' will also introduce a major new comic book villain. Reports suggest that the movie is likely to dive deep into an Atlantis storyline. With Wakanda and Atlantis both being hidden civilisations, we could see a clash between the empires. The villain of the movie is expected to be Namor, the Sub-Mariner, although no casting has been announced for the role yet. Another rumour is that Doctor Doom from 'The Fantastic Four' franchise will make an appearance, although this theory has less of a solid following.
'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' has a release date of July 8, 2022.