Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War.
After a decade in the movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is on the edge of a precipice. Avengers: Infinity War's shocking ending changed the MCU forever, as half of the galaxy fell from Thanos' finger snap of death. And with so many of the MCU's main stars potentially coming to the end of their contracts in the shared universe, Marvel Studios may need to introduce new heroes in order to fill out the ranks. Robert Downey Jr.'s tenure as Tony Stark is likely over after Avengers 4, so there may be a new Iron Man needed. So could Riri Williams aka Ironheart (the new female Iron Man from the comics) make it into the MCU?
The answer is complicated, but a new report indicates that a Riri Williams script has actually already been written. Penned by Jada Rodriguez, an Ironheart script recently made its way to The Black List, which is essentially the graveyard of abandoned film projects. So while it doesn't appear that Marvel Studios is green lighting an Ironheart movie, a female Iron Man movie doesn't seem out of the question.
Options for an Iron Man replacement have been floated around for the past few years, as RDJ's run as a the character nears its end. Iron Man essentially kickstarted the entire MCU, so its hard to imagine the shared universe without Tony Stark's high tech action. With the MCU's next phase of films teased to be especially diverse and female-centric, Riri Williams might be a great character to bring into live-action.
Aside from Riri Williams' Ironheart, there are a few other options to potentially take on the mantle of Iron Man. After her wildly successful debut performance in Black Panther, T'Challa's tech-savvy sister Shuri seems like a possible choice. She'd be able to arm The Avengers in their adventures, while also improving Tony Stark's signature armor through the use of Vibranium. Fans have also theorized Peter Parker possibly becoming the next Iron Man, considering his penchant for technology and new high tech armor.
Unfortunately, this type of debate and theorizing will likely continue for the foreseeable future. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has historically revealed its full slate of movies years in advance, the future of the MCU after Avengers 4 is largely a mystery. Spider-Man: Far From Home is the first flick after the next Avengers movie, picking up just minutes after the Russo Brothers' blockbuster ends. The only other flick that had a release date was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, although with James Gunn fired from Disney and Marvel, that's not guaranteed either. What is clear that they'll be no answers for about a year, so patience will be key.
The next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, followed shortly by Avengers 4 on May 3rd. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.