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Black Panther's Ryan Coogler Developing Disney+'s Ironheart

Ryan Coogler, Disney+ logo, Ironheart
By Aeron Mer Eclarinal

Ironheart is set to introduce another hero into the MCU in the form of Dominique Thorne's Riri Williams. The upcoming Marvel series has no release date, but signs indicate that it will join Secret Invasion in the studio's stacked 2023 slate. While plot details are still being kept under wraps, the porject is slowly taking shape as new cast members are being reported to have joined the show, such as Lyric Ross (This Is Us) and Anthony Ramos (Hamilton)

Ironheart was previously slated to begin production in April 2022, meaning that the cast and crew are expected to gear up soon. Despite that, it was already confirmed that Thorne's Riri Williams will first make her MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Now, it seems that Ironheart will also have a Black Panther connection behind-the-scenes. 

Black Panther Director Boards Ironheart 

Black Panther, Ryan Coogler
Marvel

During the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscars party, Extra TV caught up with Ironheart actor Anthony Ramos to talk about the upcoming MCU Disney+ series. 

Ramos first expressed his excitement about joining Ironheart and the MCU: 

Extra TV: "You’re about to join the MCU, that’s a huge family."

Ramos: 'I am and I’m excited. I’m so excited. I’ve been wanting…yeah, I used to be like in the gym, I’d be like, ‘Come on Marvel call, come on Marvel call, let’s go!’"

The MCU newcomer then gave a rundown of the "incredible people" that are involved in developing the series, surprisingly name-dropping Black Panther: Wakanda Forever writer-director Ryan Coogler

Extra TV: "Yeah, you finally got the phone call. You are already part of that family because once you’re
in, you’re in."

Ramos: "Yeah 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."

Coogler's inclusion in Ramos' latest comments marks the first time that the Black Panther director has been publicly associated with Ironheart specifically. While Ramos didn't clarify exactly what Coogler's role on the series would be, it's most likely that he'll serve as one of the series' producers, or possibly one of its writers.

This reveal also suggests that Ironheart could be Coogler's first small-screen project that is co-produced under Coogler's own Proximity Media production company. Back in February 2021, Disney revealed that it “extended its relationship” with Coogler through a “five-year overall exclusive television deal” with Proximity Media. 

Ironheart's Black Panther Connections

Given that Anthony Ramos has confirmed Black Panther director Ryan Coogler's involvement in Ironheart, this could hint that a major connection in Wakanda Forever would carry over into the Disney+ series. 

Although it was confirmed by Marvel Studios, it remains to be seen how Riri Williams will fit in the sequel's storyline.

Set videos previously indicated that the young MCU hero will share scenes with Letitia Wright's Shuri and Danai Gurira's Okoye in MIT, but it is unknown how Williams will encounter the Wakandan pair. From a potential recruitment drive to a simple chance encounter, the possibilities are endless.

Coogler's active role behind the scenes in Ironheart could also hint that characters from the Black Panther franchise could appear in the series, thus establishing a strong connection between the two projects.

Seeing the likes of Shuri and Okoye could be a welcome treat for fans, marking the second time that Wakandan forces are showcased on the small screen following the Dora Milaje's appearance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Ironheart is rumored to premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2023.