He may have been dead in canon for quite some time, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still living in the shadow cast over it by Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, with Disney Plus series Ironheart one of two major projects poised to deal with the fallout emanating from the demise of the longtime Iron Man.
Don Cheadle has already hinted how his longtime onscreen BFF’s ultimate sacrifice will impact former Disney Plus series-turned-movie Armor Wars, and now Ironheart producer Nate Moore has divulged some details on how Riri Williams’ hotly-anticipated solo show is going to deal with the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist-shaped elephant in the room during an interview with ComicBook.
“It was really exciting, and you sort of put your finger on it. It is both a nod to Tony Stark, but [also] its own thing. You know, Riri Williams, I think, probably steps less directly in Tony’s footsteps than she does [in the comics], but there’s certainly an admiration for all the stuff he built, and even as we’re crafting shots and sequences, thinking about what you’ve seen in other Iron Man movies, and sort of doing our riff on it, was really fun.”
The two have never and will never meet as part of the MCU, but that doesn’t mean Ironheart won’t be heavily indebted to its spiritual predecessor in a number of ways – with Moore going on to explain that Riri’s homemade armor is influenced by Tony’s signature suits, albeit with a DIY twist.
“The notion was, and Ryan [Coogler] is such a grounded filmmaker, if someone was actually trying to build an Iron Man suit, but didn’t have Iron Man resources, where would she go? So it is a little bit more ad hoc. And he also loved the idea that, you know, Riri used to build cars with her dad. So, there’s sort of a, kind of, Detroit-motor-city feel to it. It’s not as sleek and clean as Tony’s suit.”
It would make complete sense for Riri and Rhodey to cross paths at least once in the future given their shared penchant for taking to the skies in high-powered flight suits, and we’d expect there to be more than a few references to the late Stark Industries chief dotted throughout any potential interactions between the two.