Marvel Studios is gearing up for more Disney+ originals to fill in its Phase Four release slots. The studio has hired television writer and acclaimed editorial publisher, poet, and playwright, Chinaka Hodge as head writer for its upcoming Phase Four series Ironheart. The series will serve as an origin story of Riri Williams, a young inventor who develops her own suit of armor, inspired by the deeds of Tony Stark, and takes on the mantle of Ironheart. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chinaka Hodge, who has previously penned an episode of TNT's series Snowpiercer, won her pitches for all six episodes of the series.
Chinaka Hodge is an alumni of USC School of Cinematic Arts, the alma mater of Marvel Studios' CEO, Kevin Feige. She is an acclaimed editorial writer and a poet, with her works published and featured in high-profile media outlets such as NPR, PBS, San Francisco Magazine, and CNN. Besides, Chinaka Hodge is also a playwright, having penned two plays, Mirrors In Every Corner and Chasing Mehserle. Chinaka Hodge, however, won't be a new face for Marvel executives and other members of the franchise, developing separate stories in shared continuity.
Hodge has previously collaborated with Ryan Coogler (director of Black Panther and another USC alumni) and Destin Daniel Cretton, who will helm directorial duties for upcoming MCU film, Shang-Chi And The Legend Of Ten Rings. All three have worked together on Minors, a series inspired by Hodge's real-life experiences from the time she served as a teacher to underserved youth. Ironheart will be her first mainstream studio collaboration work.
Hodge's announcement as the head writer is only the second ever update we've ever received on Ironheart. Kevin Feige first announced Ironheart at Disney's Investor Day Event 2020, with a confirmation that actress Dominique Thorne will portray the titular character. The 23-years old actress has been a part of two Academy-Award honored films, If Beale Street Could Talkand Judas And The Black Messiah. The character of Riri Williams will likely go on to become the legacy of Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and could even contribute to the New Avengers storyline, which is extensively hinted at given the introduction of new characters from the comic book team in the universe.
With Ironheart, the representation of racial equality shall be stronger within both the fictional MCU and the real-time operations at Marvel Studios, which has significantly tackled or highlighted these issues since Ryan Coogler's Black Panther and more bluntly and openly in The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. According to the report, Ironheartwill undergo writing in May this year and will probably stream Disney+ by the next year. As the writing will go into later stages, we can expect more casting confirms and announcements from Marvel Studios in regard to the series. For now, Marvel is buckling up to promote Loki, its next in line of Disney+ originals and third Phase Four entry, set to premiere on June 11th.
This news originated at The Hollywood Reporter.