Production is gearing up for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the highly-anticipated follow-up to Marvel Studios' 2018 blockbuster. In addition to keeping alive the legacy of franchise star Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in 2020, the film is rumored to be featuring some surprising characters from across the Marvel universe. Riri Williams/Ironheart (Dominique Thorne) had been rumored to appear in the film, and as ComicBook.com confirmed on Thursday, she will definitely be making an appearance before spinning out into her own Disney+ solo series. A series of set photos initially shared by Telegram.com tease the preparation for Ironheart's debut in Wakanda Forever, with a series of vehicles being transported into Worchester, Massachusetts, that feature "Cambridge" labeling. Cambridge Massachusetts, of course, is the location of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the school that Riri attends while she's building the Ironheart suit.
The news of Ironheart factoring into Wakanda Forever was confirmed by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige himself, who told ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis that Riri would make her debut in the film.
"We're shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in Black Panther 2 first," Feige said in an interview surrounding the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. "She started shooting, I think, this week before her Ironheart series."
The Ironheart Disney+ series was confirmed at last year's Disney Investor Day presentation. The series will follow Riri, a teenage girl and genius inventor who goes on to create the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man. Earlier this year, it was confirmed that Snowpiercer writer, playwright, poet, and educator Chinaka Hodge would be serving as showrunner.
"I was at home in Delaware and I got a call asking if I would like to play this role. It was the best phone call I could have ever received," Thorne told Empire Magazine earlier this year. "I was so shocked, in fact, that there was a considerable lag in the conversation! (laughs) I was waiting for them to say, like, 'Oh, we'll send you the sides' or, 'Get your tape over to us.' But there was none of that. It was just like, 'Would you like to do this?' It was probably the most unique experience I've ever had because there was no audition at all."
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is set to debut in theaters on July 8, 2022.