Dominique Thorne will make her Marvel debut as Riri Williams ahead of schedule.

The Judas and the Black Messiah actress will appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever before starring as the titular hero of Disney+'s upcoming Ironheart show. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige revealed the news during a recent interview with

"We're shooting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever right now, and the character of Riri Williams you will meet in Black Panther 2 first," Feige said. "She started shooting, I think, this week, before her Ironheart series."

Dominique Thorne, Ironheart
Dominique Thorne and Riri Williams, a.k.a. Ironheart
| Credit: Gary Gershoff/WireImage; Marvel Comics

Created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mike Deodato in 2016, Riri was introduced in the pages of Marvel Comics shortly after the events of Civil War II, which left Tony Stark/Iron Man in a coma. In the comics, Riri is an M.I.T. student who is smarter than Stark and creates her own Iron Man-like armored suit in her dorm room. With Stark out of commission, Riri steps into the void and becomes Ironheart.

Four short years after Riri's grand entrance, Marvel Studios announced it was developing a Disney+ show about her. (For more information about Riri, check out our 2016 interview with Bendis.)

Riri's was part of the publisher's ongoing attempts to make its superhero lineup more inclusive, a mission that also led to the introduction of characters like Miles Morales' Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, and Jane Foster's Thor. Interestingly enough, those three characters are also getting their time to shine on the big and small screens. Miles was the lead character of the Academy Award-winning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Iman Vellani will play Ms. Marvel on her own Disney+ series and in 2022's The Marvels, and Natalie Portman will pick up Thor's hammer in 2022's Thor: Love and Thunder.

Wakanda Forever, the sequel to the groundbreaking Black Panther, is currently in production in Atlanta, with Ryan Coogler once again steering the ship. Little is known about how the film will move forward without Chadwick Boseman, who played Black Panther/T'Challa before his death in 2020. Daniel Kaluuya, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, and Winston Duke are all expected return for Wakanda Forever, which will also feature I May Destroy You's Michaela Coel in an unknown role.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is slated to hit theaters July 8, 2022.

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022 movie)
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