Fans want Ironheart to take over from Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Kevin Feige says he's aware of those calls. Avengers: Endgame proved to be a monumental entry in the Marvel Studios canon for a number of reasons, not least because it could potentially become the highest grossing movie of all time. Avengers: Endgame also featured the deaths of several major, long-established figures within the MCU including the character that started it all, Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man. During the final fight against Thanos, Iron Man has no choice but to use the Infinity Gauntlet to stop Thanos' invasion of Earth, but the power of doing so means this noble act costs the hero his life.
While this same fate doesn't befall Tony Stark in the Marvel comic books, there does come a time when Stark hangs up his famous red and gold suit and puts the superhero life behind him. Following Iron Man's retirement, a teenage engineering genius named Riri Williams decides to build her own Iron Man-style suit and fight crime. Despite some teething problems, Williams' antics come to the attention of Stark himself, who visits the young prodigy and accepts her as his successor. Riri Williams goes on to take the name Ironheart and the character's own comic series began in November last year. With Iron Man now gone from the MCU, many fans are calling for Ironheart to replace him, including Robert Downey Jr. himself.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has now responded to the calls for Ironheart to debut in the MCU, and while he is typically coy on the matter, he also makes it known that the fans have been heard. Speaking with BET, Feige states:
"I think [Ironheart]'s a great character, and it’s been fun to see how she evolves in the comics. I just saw that quote, too [from Downey Jr,]. But again, the future…"
Given that Iron Man's grave is still relatively fresh, it's unlikely that Ironheart will turn up in the MCU soon. Judging by the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, the franchise will instead explore the aftermath of Tony Stark's death and then will surely give some room for the landscape of the movies to settle after losing one of the major players of the MCU.
However, it seems incredibly likely that Ironheart is being penciled-in for an eventual appearance further down the road. As Feige says, the character's arc in the comics has been particularly interesting and despite being a relatively recent addition to Marvel's roster, Ironheart has made a strong early impression. With the MCU pulling the trigger on the Multiverse, all manner of outlandish superheroes and villains could be making their way to the franchise in the near future, including those attained via Disney's deal with Fox. Consequently, the MCU will need plenty of characters who are more grounded that fans can relate to and Ironheart certainly falls into this category. Furthermore, it's impossible to imagine too many Marvel films passing by without the familiar sight of Iron Man's iconic armor.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019