Marvel names writer and lead for upcoming Ironheart

(Chinaka Hodge, Dominique Thorne)

Tony Stark has a successor. Marvel Studios has tapped TV scribe and poet Chinaka Hodge as the head writer on the upcoming Disney+ series, Ironheart. Variety, which broke the story, has also revealed Dominique Thorne (Judas and the Black MessiahIf Beale Street Could Talk) will play Riri Williams. 

Set in Chicago, Ironheart/Riri Williams is a 15-year-old engineering student and the daughter of the late Riri Williams Sr. Following her father’s death, Riri lives with her mother Ronnie and her paternal aunt Sharon.

Riri is a certified super-genius and attends the MIT on scholarship. Working alone, she designs a suit of armor similar to Tony Stark’s Iron Man, using stolen materials.  

In the comics, Stark hears of Riri’s accomplishment and goes to meet her. During their meeting, Stark decides that he will endorse her decision to become a superheroine. Since Tony (Robert Downey, Jr.) died in Avengers: Endgame, we can see Gwyneth Paltrow taking the mentor role as she has said before she would be open to returning to the MCU on a limited basis.

Variety says, Ironheart will consist of six hour-long episodes, with the writer’s room currently scheduled to open sometime next month. A production date has yet to be determined, but it could be sometime before the end of this year or early 2022.

Hodge is a staff writer on TNT’s Snowpiercer series, which was recently renewed for season three, and has also contributed to Apple TV+’s Amazing Stories.

In addition to being a full-time screenwriter, Chinaka’s also a poet, playwright, and educator. She has published two books of poetry to date, For Girls with Hips: Collected Poems and Writings and Dated Emcees. Her plays include Chasing Mehserle and Mirrors in Every Corner.

Kevin Feige has said that Marvel’s Phase Four, both cinematically and on TV, would feature much needed diversity. With Ironheart added to the mix and a new Black Captain America, Marvel is making strides.