Watch: Unreleased Chadwick Boseman Screen Test With Ironheart Star

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
Chadwick Boseman and Dominque Thorne

Ironheart star Dominique Thorne was shown acting opposite the late Black Panther lead Chadwick Boseman in her original audition tape to play Shuri in the 2018 MCU movie.

The MCU welcomed a host of newcomers with Phase 4, among them comes Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams, aka Ironheart. Following the legacy of everyone's favorite armored Avenger, Ironheart made her debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ahead of leading her own Disney+ series this year.

But Ironheart wasn't Thorne's first go-round with the MCU audition process. At the time of the original Black Panther pre-production, the newcomer actress auditioned to play T'Challa's sister Shuri, a role which eventually went to Letitia Wright. 

Ironheart Star Meets Chadwick Boseman in New Video

During the Marvel Studios Assembled behind-the-scenes special for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the first look was shown at Ironheart star Dominique Throne's original screen test for Shuri in 2018's Black Panther.

The previously unreleased screen test pairs the Ironheart star with Chadwick Boseman to test their dynamic as potential on-screen siblings.

Black Panther, Shuri, Ironheart, Dominique Thorne, Chadwick Boseman
Marvel Studios

Thorne first acknowledged her Shuri audition during Chapter 4 of Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast, revealing that when the original 2018 flick came out she was "accepting the fact that [she] didn't get the role:

“When the first one came out, where was I in my life? Man, I was accepting the fact that I didn’t get the role.”

The actress went for the role of Shuri several years before Black Panther's release, but was quickly aware before even leaving the audition that she hadn't landed the part, with her focus at the time being on her studies at Cornell:

“I auditioned for Shuri in like, what– 2016, 2017. And that was the first time I met Ryan [Coogler], first time I met all the Marvel folks, for real. And I knew before I left that I didn’t get the audition, like I didn’t get the role. I was at Cornell at the time and I had also signed with these agents. It was the only agency that had wanted to meet with me, that respected the fact that I wanted to go to school."

Black Panther, Shuri, Ironheart, Dominique Thorne
Marvel Studios

That being said, Throne was aware at the time she was "not where [she] needed to be to take on a film like that" due to family relationships, an "academic warzone," and "all of these ambitions" she had.

The MCU newcomer was aware at the time she lost the role that she "had things to deal with," and she was even told by Marvel to "get [her] credits up" and then they'd "love to work with [her]:"

"To be honest, I knew I had things to deal with, so… 2018, by the time the movie came out, I was in a much better place. I also, just logistically, I hadn’t done any films. So from the Marvel side, they were like,‘Get your credits up, and then we’d love to work with you.’"

Thorne would go on to star in her first movie shortly after Black Panther's release with the 2018 romantic drama If Beale Street Could Talk.

Black Panther, Shuri, Ironheart, Dominique Thorne, Chadwick Boseman
Marvel Studios

The actress explained that when the role of Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, came along for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, she received a call from producer Nate Moore to quickly offer her the part:

“He asked me first if I was familiar with the character, Ironheart... I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, of course I do.’ And he was saying that they’re looking to tell her story next and they want to know if I would be interested in playing her…"

However, on this go around with the MCU casting process, there was no audition necessary and she was left speechless with the on-the-spot offer:

"[I’m] still silent at this point on the phone, because I’m waiting for him to tell me like, ‘I’ll send you the audition material. You can get us your tape by this day. We look forward to seeing your audition.’ I’m waiting for him to give me those details and it was just silent. And then he was like, ‘Hello?’ (laughs) He’s like, ‘Yeah, would you be interested?’ I was like, ‘Yes, absolutely.’"

The clip of Dominique Thorne's screen test with Chadwick Boseman can be watched below:

Elsewhere in the Multiverse... Dominique Throne's Black Panther

Somewhere out there in the infinite Multiverse, Dominque Thorne just donned the iconic Black Panther suit as Shuri for the very first time in Wakanda Forever. Nonetheless, everything clearly worked out for Thorne as she still made her way into the MCU and quickly became on-screen friends with Letitia Wright's Shuri.

The young actress must have made a strong impression on director Ryan Coogler and others at Marvel Studios to earn her an instant, auditionless offer for Ironheart when the sequel came around. Between a leading role in Black Panther 2, her own Disney+ series, and more MCU appearances to come, this was no small offer to receive.

Wright received widespread praise for her performance in the Black Panther franchise. So, clearly, Marvel Studios made the right decision on that front. With leading the Wakandan franchise into the future while Thorne stars in her own Disney+ series, both actresses are certainly winning going forward.

The only true shame here comes with how Chadwick Boseman cannot be here to work with both of these actresses more. One cannot help but notice the "Stand Up To Cancer" shirt he wore in this audition tape, perhaps indicating this came around the time of his 2016 cancer diagnosis which he then battled across production.

Having received encouragement from Iron Man's Robert Downey Jr. on top of having had the chance to audition opposite Chadwick Boseman, Thorne has had the unique opportunity to have interacted with multiple MCU icons already, and her tenure in this franchise is only just getting started.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is streaming now on Disney+.

- In This Article: Ironheart
Release Date
Alden Ehrenreich
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.