The Marvel Cinematic Universe was born with 2008’s Iron Man. The character was the first in what would become a veritable tapestry of superheroes that would become the biggest cinematic franchise in history. Robert Downey, Jr.’s Avenger wasn’t just a fan-favorite character, he was the figurehead of the MCU. Unfortunately, Tony Stark made the ultimate sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame to save the universe, and the Avengers, as well as audiences, had to say goodbye to the superhero that started it all.
But while Tony Stark might be dead, the MCU may not be without an Iron Man for very long. In fact, recent rumors have surfaced stipulating that Ironheart might soon star in her very own Disney+ television series. While it’s great to know that Marvel is considering bringing Iron Man’s successor to the MCU, the character shouldn’t be relegated to television because Ironheart is a character who deserves to fly on the big screen.
Ironheart is the alter ego of Riri Williams, a 15-year-old girl with a genius-level intellect that studies at M.I.T. Riri built her own Iron Man suit from scratch, and she eventually replaced Tony Stark after the superhero was left in a coma following the events of Civil War II. Eventually, Tony would return and become a mentor of sorts to Riri, who would then adopt the Ironheart moniker.
Now, given that Tony Stark is dead following the events of Avengers: Endgame, this is not the exact story fans will see unfold in the MCU. However, given that Riri began to operate as a successor to Tony, she will most assuredly also suit up in live-action to replace him — especially considering that in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker declined the possibility of becoming the new Iron Man. With the seat open, Riri could step up to fill that void. This prospect is certainly exciting, and it’s filled with potential. Because of this, Riri’s story is one that deserves the big screen treatment. In fact, the character’s close connection to Iron Man makes her story a continuation of what began all the way back in 2008. With that in mind, it’s clear that she should be introduced to audiences on the big screen, the same way Tony Stark was.
Of course, Marvel has confirmed that characters who first appear on the Disney+ TV shows can and will eventually make the jump to the movies. While this is fine for certain characters, it shouldn’t be the case for Riri. She is an important character to the overall Iron Man mythology, and she is part of a story thread that should keep running exclusively on the big screen. What’s more, she may also become the head of a whole new generation of superheroes as the old guard of Avengers begins to wind down. If Riri is to become a figurehead like Stark was, she needs to be a headlining character from the start.
Riri Williams will effectively carry Tony Stark’s torch, and he is such a central figure to the MCU that this story is one that needs to play out in theaters for the biggest audience possible. After all, after his debut, Iron Man was the face of the MCU for 10 years — and the same can and should happen to his successor.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is available on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD.
Following rumors that Ironheart will star in her own Disney+ series, it's clear that her MCU debut shouldn't be on television, but on the big screen.