While Iron Man's absence has been felt through most of Phase 4, Ironheart is expected to fill in the gaps as it will introduce the Armored Avenger's successor in Riri Williams. The character will be portrayed by Dominique Thorne, and it has been confirmed that the actress will first make her MCU debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever before leading the charge in her own Disney+ series.
It is unknown how Ironheart fits into the MCU's puzzle in Phase 5, but it appears that the upcoming show will dive into the franchise's new technological advancements alongside the threats and dangers that come with it. So far, Williams' Mark I armor was recently unveiled through an official Funko Pop! figure, and it showcases a familiar Iron Man connection due to the design of its arc reactor.
It's possible that Ironheart will include a plethora of nods to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark throughout the series' run on Disney+, and it seems that Marvel is taking the necessary steps in order to prevent these tributes from spreading online.
Marvel is Leveling Up to Prevent Spoilery Set Photos from Leaking
Atlanta Filming shared on Instagram that Ironheart's crew is using reflective umbrellas to prevent the press and the public from taking set photos and spreading them online.
In addition, Atlanta Filming also noted that the show's cast members are wearing capes to presumably hide their respective outfits, which could be deemed as spoilers:
"Marvel does not play. This is why you don't get shots out of Europe, NY, etc. The crew had 12 umbrellas. Some were the super fancy reflective kind that bounce light. So jealous. My umbrella just bounces water and squirrels. There is a woman holding a heavy sheet and numerous umbrellas in this shot. The cast wear capes too."
On the other hand, another batch of set photos from Ironheart confirms that the Disney+ series will be set in Chicago.
As discovered on Reddit, a photo showing a police car from Evanston, Chicago can be seen:
Other photos highlight the local neighborhood of, presumably, Riri Williams:
An image of an emergency services team was also featured. Could this tease that the police are in pursuit of Riri Williams in the series?
In Marvel Comics, Riri Williams grew up in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.
Why Marvel is Upgrading Necessary Steps to Prevent Spoilers
It looks like Marvel is now being cognizant of the leaked set photos that spoiled major plot points and unannounced cast members of several projects. Using reflective umbrellas could be considered an upgrade, and it allows the studio to at least prevent the audience from knowing what the show will highlight in its narrative.
This isn't the first time that Marvel has taken steps to prevent spoilers from leaking. Secret Invasion actor Kingsley Ben-Adir previously revealed that the studio is training its actors to not talk about the projects that they are involved in, hinting that there are stricter protocols in place during press interviews.
Not only that, but Ms. Marvel director Adil El Arbi also noted that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige never lets directors in on all of the details about the franchise:
"Kevin never tells you a lot. He tells you, ‘You’ve got Ms. Marvel and you’re allowed to do a bunch of stuff, but stay in the Ms. Marvel world.’ We would ask him about Doctor Strange and The Marvels and he said, ‘That’s on a need-to-know basis. If there’s a problem with what you want to do, I’ll tell you — but I’ll never tell you why.’ ”
The use of reflective umbrellas is one of the many moving parts in Marvel's effort to prevent spoilers, and it is a necessary move to finally address the leaks that are consistently emerging. For example, set photos of Secret Invasion confirmed the casting of Russian actress Irina Kara while leaked images also confirmed the inclusion of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Hopefully, Marvel will continue to utilize similar steps in the future to avoid major surprises from its projects, especially now that two Avengers movies are set to release in 2025.
Ironheart is set to premiere on Disney+ in Fall 2023.