Back last December, Marvel made several announcements during parent company Disney’s big investor day, including confirmation that the MCU team was developing a Disney+ series around the character of Riri Williams, AKA Ironheart. Judas And The Black Messiah‘s Dominque Thorne scored the lead role, but now we know that she’ll actually make her Marvel debut as Riri before the Ironheart show, as Kevin Feige has dropped word she’ll be part of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

“We’re shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in that film first,” Feige told Comicbook.com while out on the press tour for Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings. “She started shooting, I think, this week before her Ironheart series.”

Riri Williams is a genius teen inventor who creates the most advanced armour-suit since Iron Man, and made her comics debut in 2016 from creators Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato.

Quite what part the character will play in Ryan Coogler‘s Black Panther sequel remains to be seen – given how close Team Marvel keeps their cards to their chest, this could be a brief cameo, or a more significant part tied into the new story. Feige talking up her involvement suggests more the latter, since he usually prefers not to talk about cameos and end credits sequences in any detail, so as not to spoil surprises. Let the speculation begin! Could Riri’s tech wizardry help Shuri (Letitia Wright) take over the mantle of the Black Panther?

The movie, which Coogler is busy making, is expected to see the return of Wright, Angela Bassett, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Daniel Kaluuya. Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o and Martin Freeman, while Tenoch Huerta is rumoured to be playing Namor. It will, of course, have to deal in some fashion with the tragic loss of Chadwick Boseman who played T’Challa, the ruler of Wakanda and the holder of the Black Panther title. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be out in cinemas on 8 July next year.

As for Ironheart, Chinaka Hodge is serving as head writer for the show, which doesn’t yet have a debut date. We spoke to Thorne this past March about her landing the lead in the show.

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