Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is utilizing a familiar Marvel Studios strategy. Just as T'Challa debuted in Captain America: Civil War ahead of his solo film, Dominique Thorne's Riri Williams is set to first pop up in November's Black Panther sequel before she gets full spotlight in her standalone series, Ironheart. Details on Ironheart's role in Wakanda Forever have been scarce, but fans know from set photos that she will share scenes with Letitia Wright's Shuri and Danai Gurira's Okoye at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, MA. While those scenes will focus on Riri the super-genius student, her armored alter ego is on the way as teased in the official trailer, check out screenshots below!
In the comics, Williams is a 15-year-old engineering student who finds herself at MIT on a scholarship. There, she designs " the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man's," which gets her on the radars of both friends and foes. Thorne was first cast as the heir to Tony Stark back in December 2020 at Disney Investor Day.
"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 said. "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."
While Thorne has finished her Black Panther: Wakanda Forever filming, she is currently in the midst of shooting the Ironheart series. Thorne's supporting cast includes Anthony Ramos (Hamilton), Lyric Ross (This Is Us), and Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story).
Thorne further spoke on playing the character, noting she's all in on "the story" aspect of Riri.
"For me, at this point, it's really about the story," Thorne said. "That's what many of us who enter into this profession think. What draws you in is the ability to tell stories that mean something to people. In high school, the motto was to empathize, to empower, or to educate and so that is what I still abide by today. So hopefully, I'm involved in a story that is doing that. There are real people with real stories and real emotions at the center of it. Even if it's not my experience or your experience, it allows somebody the opportunity to be changed; the opportunity to have their mind expanded or get educated in a new way. I think that's one of the most beautiful and powerful things that this form is capable of."
"I'm excited. I'm so excited," Ramos said of joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "I used to be like in the gym, I'd be like, 'Come on Marvel call, come on Marvel call, let's go!' That's what we hope for. I feel blessed. It's an amazing project. Incredible people, Chinaka Hodge and Ryan Coogler, and just like a dope squad, Dominique Thorne and I feel blessed and grateful."
Thorne's Riri Williams will first debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which premieres on November 11th. Ironheart is currently without a release date, but is set to arrive in the Fall of 2023.0comments