Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) is set to make her MCU debut in this week's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever ahead of her solo Disney+ Ironheart series, and director Ryan Coogler has now hinted that the budding young hero may have a surprising connection to the late Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
Of course, Stark becomes a mentor of sorts to Riri in the comics and encourages her to embark on a career as a superhero, but the MCU's version of Iron Man met his maker in Avengers: Endgame and it's highly unlikely Williams would have been old enough to have any dealing with him prior to the events of the Infinity Saga.
So, what kind of relationship could these characters possibly have? Well, "it's complicated."
“I don’t want to put any spoilers out there," said Coogler when asked about Riri and Stark's potential connection by DesiNerd. "I know you all haven’t seen the film yet. I know the same for your audience. But yeah, there is a connection there between her and Tony, but it’s a complicated connection. And Riri is a supporting character in this film, so she’s there kind of in concert with a lot of other characters. But she does play a major role and we will get to know a little bit about how how she became who she is when we meet her in this in this film."
There's been speculation that Stark could be reintroduced to The MCU as an AI or holo-guide (doubtful), and an even more out-there theory proposes that Riri could be revealed as Tony's estranged daughter.
Will Wakanda Forever deliver the answers, or will we have to wait until Ironheart? Find out this Friday when Marvel Studios' final Phase 4 movie hits theaters.
The review embargo lifted yesterday (you'll find our verdict here), and the sequel currently sits at 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. Are you guys planning on seeing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opening night/weekend?
In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta as Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena, and Alex Livanalli.