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Our first look at Iron Man’s replacement leaked: This is Ironheart

Updated Nov 11th, 2022 9:55AM EST
Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame final battle
Image: Marvel Studios

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Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is now dead in the main MCU timeline after sacrificing his life to save everyone else in Endgame. We might still see RDJ again in Marvel movies. But until that happens, we’ll get Iron Man’s first replacement in the form of Ironheart (Dominique Thorne). That’s the superhero name that Riri Williams will adopt when she dons the Ironheart suit. She is a character who Marvel will introduce in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Moreover, Thorne will star in her own Ironheart Disney Plus show, which premieres in fall 2023 (and potentially with Sacha Baron Cohen as Mephisto). But we don’t have to wait that long to see the MCU’s next Iron Man. The Ironheart armor just leaked, and it’s quite impressive. We’ll warn you that spoilers will follow below.

We’ve already seen Riri Williams in the emotional Wakanda Forever trailer that Marvel released at Comic-Con. We know she’s a gifted MIT student and she’s good friends with Shuri (Letitia Wright).

Moreover, the trailer teases an Iron Man-like scene where we see Riri starting work on what will probably be her first Ironheart suit. The scene is reminiscent of Tony Stark building the first Iron Man suit.

Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) making her Ironheart armor.
Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) making her Ironheart armor suit. Image source: Marvel Studios

That’s not surprising, considering that Ironheart is the Young Avenger equivalent of Iron Man. Marvel’s Phase 4 started delivering replacements for all the Avengers, including young superheroes who might team up in a future Young Avengers crossover. Or who might join the ranks of the main Avengers team. Ironheart is one of them.

Moreover, if the Wakanda Forever plot leaks are accurate, Riri Williams will play a significant role in the sequel. We won’t have to wait until Ironheart’s release to really meet her. And she’ll be very important to the action.

The Ironheart suit leak

That said, the Wakanda Forever trailer did not show her full suit, a reveal that Marvel will save for the movie or the TV show. But we already have some leaked set photos from what appears to be the Ironheart set that gives us a great look at the suit in action.

As you can see, the suit gives off War Machine vibes rather than looking like recent Iron Man armor.

But it’s also an early version built by a child prodigy who will undoubtedly advance her tech to match Stark’s sophistication in the future.

The bulky nature of the armor also suggests this might be close to the Ironheart suit we’ll see in Wakanda Forever. That’s assuming Riri Williams completes her first armor in the movie.

The images above likely come from the set of Ironheart, as Thorne is currently filming the series. And the Disney Plus show should be the origin story for this Iron Man replacement.

Therefore, it’ll be interesting to see the timeline for Wakanda Forever and Ironheart. Riri should develop the suit in her origin story rather than in a different movie. But the Black Panther 2 certainly gives the character more exposure.

The Ironheart plot hasn’t leaked, but we do have a few reports about the TV series. They claim that some of the action might happen before Wakanda Forever via flashbacks. But the main Ironheart story happens after Black Panther 2.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.