November's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is tasked with the tall order of not just passing the mantle of the title character but also introducing two rookie heroes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Those freshmen are Tenoch Huerta's Namor and Dominique Thorne's Riri Williams. While the future of the Sub-Mariner remains to be determined, the heir to Tony Stark already has an Ironheart solo series deep in development.
Since being announced at Disney Investor Day in December 2020, Ironheart has stocked up on talent. The show has added Hamilton and In The Heights star Anthony Ramos to the ensemble, as well as This Is Us actress Lyric Ross and up-and-comer Harper Anthony. Ironheart will also be scribed by Chinaka Hodge, who most recently worked on TNT's critically-acclaimed Snowpiercer.
Ahead of the series' rumored production start later this month, Ironheart has added two more creators to its decorated crew.
Marvel's Ironheart Secures Its Directors
Ironheart has found its directors.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Disney+ series has Sam Bailey and Angela Barnes tapped to direct the inaugural season.
Bailey, a co-creator of the Emmy-nominated Brown Girls, will direct the first three episodes, while Barnes, who most recently worked on Starz's Blindspotting, will helm episodes four through six.
The report also states that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler and his production company, Proximity Media, will be part of the Ironheart creative team. Coogler and his company, namely Zinzi Coogler and Sev Ohanian, will be executive producers on the show.
Marvel Studios' Disney+ Patterns Continue
It has been a tale of two halves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+.
Marvel Studios' first three shows, WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki, all utilized one director for their first season's full run. Multiple directors were first toyed with in live-action for Hawkeye and the succeeding Moon Knight followed suit. While four of Marvel's 2021 live-action streaming shows were met with overall satisfaction, Marvel may see stronger success by dividing the directing workload.
Loki Season 1 director Kate Herron emphasized that she had "given it her all" regarding her six episodes of Tom Hiddleston's solo series and that "other" projects had her schedule locked up. Considering these streaming runtimes can be upwards of triple that of a theatrical release, putting all that on a single director can be overbearing.
Herron, as well as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's Kari Skogland and WandaVision's Matt Shakman, all found massive success with their MCU debuts. Shortly after both aforementioned shows concluded, Skogland was hired for Gal Gadot's Cleopatra and Shakman was given the reins for the next installment in the Star Trek franchise.
Splitting the Ironheart series between Bailey and Barnes allows both directors to shine while also avoiding burnout. With Marvel veterans like Coogler steering the ship behind the scenes, these MCU newcomers should not just find success in their debut but be left hungry for more.