A Halloween treat is here for the Chicago production community as well as Chicago comic book diehards. The new Marvel Studios series Ironheart is now filming in the Windy City. Sources tell SCREEN the highly anticipated series will film through November 3rd, and a series wrap is expected soon after the Chicago shoot is completed.
The six-episode Ironheart, created by Chinaka Hodge, stars Dominique Thorne as Marvel character Riri Williams, a genius inventor and creator of the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man.
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 is welcoming this franchise to town for a brief stint and generating more job opportunities for Illinois professionals.
So Where is Ironheart Filming?
The Marvel series is filming at the Adler Planetarium to close out the week. Multiple sources report Ironheart was filming at the mansion at 1300 North Astor earlier this week, and has ventured Downtown onto Lower Wacker, near Wacker and Columbus.
The Unit Production Manager for this shoot is Chicago’s Kevin McGrail, who served as UPM on the big-budget Amazon series Paper Girls that filmed in Illinois last year.
Sacha Baron Cohen Joining Ironheart as Mephisto
Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen is expected to join the Marvel series as the villainous Mephisto, according to Deadline. Deadline declares, “Since our story ran, there has been further proof that Baron Cohen has joined the MCU… he may appear later in Ironheart’s run, with Episodes 5-6 considered likely. In addition to in-person scenes, rumor is that there have been scans for CGI effects, which would indicate a superhero alter ego for Baron Cohen’s character.”
For a quick lowdown on Mephisto’s fit in this new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, here’s a sharp segment from New Rockstars…
Previously announced cast also includes Anthony Ramos as central villain “The Hood,” Manny Montana, Shakira Barrera, Alden Ehrenreich, Regan Aliyah, Shea Couleé, Zoe Terakes and Paul Calderón.
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…
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.
Check back here at SCREEN for updates as Ironheart films in Chicago this month. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.