More good news for the Chicago production community… and for Chicago comic book diehards. The new Marvel Studios series Ironheart will be filming in the Windy City at the end of the month. Sources tell SCREEN the highly anticipated series will begin filming on or near October 24th, and will be in production through the end of the month.
When Ironheart was announced by Marvel Studios earlier this year, the series was expected to film primarily in Atlanta and Chicago. However, with much of Marvel’s production already headquartered in Georgia, the bulk of the series has filmed in the Peach State to date. Nevertheless, the burgeoning Chicago television industry will enjoy bringing this franchise to town for a brief stint and generating more job opportunities for Illinois professionals.
Your First Look at Ironheart… in the New Black Panther Blockbuster
Your first look at Ironheart is approaching faster than you think. Before the Ironheart series hits screens in 2023, fans will see the superhero in action this November in the highly anticipated movie Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Actor Dominique Thorne will don the Ironheart armor and play a key role in the Wakanda Forever storyline.
You can catch a quick glimpse of Ironheart towards the end of the newly released and trending trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever…
Homewood, IL and Chicago Actor Lyric Ross Joins the Cast
And SCREEN has more great news for Chicago artists, as Lyric Ross, one of the key players in NBC’s hit drama This Is Us, has joined the cast of Ironheart. Ross plays the best friend of “Ironheart,” who is better known as “Riri Williams” when she’s not clad in high-tech superhero armor.
Ross was raised in Homewood, Illinois, just under an hour outside of Chicago. She started acting when she was five years old, appearing in various commercials. Ross then leapt onto the national scene with a guest-starring role in NBC ratings king Chicago Fire. In 2017, she performed in a recurring role as “Deja Pearson” in Season 2 of another beloved NBC series This Is Us, while in the eighth grade at James Hart School in Homewood, and this is where Ross’ career blossomed. Ross’ work on the show earned her a Teen Choice Award nomination, three NAACP Image Award nominations and a SAG Award win in 2019 for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.
Here is a clip from Lyric’s award-winning star turn on This Is Us…
Here is a quick interview with Lyric Ross to bring you up to speed…
As SCREEN shared earlier this year, Hamilton star Anthony Ramos has also been named to the cast.
Chicagoan in the Marvel Studios Director’s Chair
As SCREEN reported in May, Chicago native Sam Bailey is directing multiple episodes of this latest foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
Sam Bailey’s star has taken off since her Primetime Emmy nomination for the web series Brown Girls, which she created with poet Fatimah Asghar in her hometown of Chicago. The series starred two young women coming to terms with queer identity, and navigating career and relationships, and went on to be developed with HBO. Since then, Bailey has become a mainstay in the television circuit, directing episodes of the series Alone Together, First Wives Club, East of La Brea, Grown-ish, Loosely Exactly Nicole, and Netflix’s Dear White People, for which she was also a writer and producer.
As for Bailey’s Chicago roots, she was born in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood. Bailey began stage acting as a teenager and received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago, before co-creating the aforementioned Brown Girls.
So Who Is Ironheart? Let’s Bring You Up to Speed
Comic book aficionados will recall that Riri Williams/Ironheart was first introduced in Marvel Comics in 2016, the creation of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mike Deodato. In the comics, she is a 15-year-old MIT student who reverse engineers Iron Man’s armor in order to create armor of her own. Iron Man, also known as Tony Stark, eventually took notice and gave her his encouragement to pursue the life of a superhero.
There is another notable Chicago connection with the Ironheart franchise. One of the writers on the comic book series back in 2018 was Chicagoan Eve Ewing. Click here to enjoy her interview with marvel.com. As to Ewing’s involvement with the television series, SCREEN will have updates as they become available.
To bring you up to speed, here is a quick Ironheart character breakdown from vlogger Blerd Without Fear…
Meet Ironheart Head Writer Chinaka Hodge
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige’s Ironheart team will be led by head writer Chinaka Hodge. Hodge is a screenwriter, poet, playwright, and educator. Her past television writing credits include the Apple reboot of Amazing Stories, as well as the TNT series adaptation of Snowpiercer, starring Daveed Diggs. 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. She is also a founding member of the hip hop collective “The Getback” along with Diggs and others.
What better way to introduce yourself to Chinaka Hodge than to take a listen to her recent TED Talk…
Black Panther‘s Coogler Enters the Fray
SCREEN shared earlier this Spring that Ryan Coogler of Black Panther fame is among the executive producers alongside Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Zinzi Coogler, Sev Ohanian, Zoie Nagelhout, and the aforementioned Hodge. Avengers: Endgame casting director Sarah Finn has been heading up casting, joined by Jason B. Stamey.
Will Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow Appear in Ironheart?
Marvel Cinematic Universe diehards continue to speculate as to which famed heroes and heroines may soar into the Ironheart series. According to ScreenRant, “There is a strong chance that MCU veterans like War Machine (Don Cheadle), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) could appear. Many are also hopeful that Robert Downey Jr. will return as an AI version of Tony Stark. Meanwhile, Riri’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever role could mean Shuri (Letitia Wright) and other characters from the sequel could pop up too.”
So far, there have been no official reports that Downey Jr., Cheadle, or Paltrow will be appearing in Ironheart or have shown up on set. That being said, until the series premieres in the new year, MCU diehards will likely continue to buzz.
Check back here at SCREEN for updates as Ironheart heads to Chicago this month. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.