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Dominique Thorne has joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige shared the news in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com, confirming the 23-year-old actress will portray Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, in the much-anticipated superhero sequel. Feige said the film will introduce Thorne’s character to the MCU ahead of her standalone Disney+ series, which was announced in late 2020.
“We’re shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, right now, and the character of Riri Williams, you will meet in Black Panther 2 first,” Feige told the outlet. “She started shooting, I think, this week before her Ironheart series.”
Williams/Ironheart was introduced in 2016 in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #7. The character is a described as a super genius from Chicago who gets accepted into M.I.T. at age 15. During her studies, she manages to reverse engineer Iron Man’s suit to create her very own armor. She then takes on the Ironheart alias and goes into full superhero mode with the support of Tony Stark, eventually becoming a member of the Champions.
“I knew about Ironheart before I was approached with the role, so it was it was an awe-inspiring moment to think that I would be chosen to portray this woman and to bring her to the screen in this way,” Thorne told BFTV earlier this year. “For me, at this point, it’s really about the story. That’s what many of us who enter into this profession think. What draws you in is the 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.”
Thorne previously starred in critically acclaimed projects like Judas and the Black Messiah and If Beale Street Could Talk. Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is expected to star original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angela Bassett. The sequel is set to hit theaters on July 8, 2022.