The Sweet Conversation Robert Downey Jr. Had With Wakanda Forever’s Dominique Thorne After She Landed Ironheart Role

Dominique Thorne holding a speaker above her head in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
(Image credit: Marvel)

Becoming a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is likely an overwhelming prospect for anyone newly hired to play a hero. However, finding out you're playing the woman to follow in Iron Man’s footsteps must be on another level of intimidating. Although, you’d never notice that with the way Dominique Thorne has effortlessly brought Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, into the MCU, and luckily she also has Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr.’s support as well, and the two have had a sweet conversation about her new role. 

We got to meet Riri in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and it became abundantly clear that while she’s following in the footsteps of Tony Stark, she’s also distinctly her own character. The actress behind the young genius spoke to Screen Rant about her entry into the MCU, and the conversation she got to have with Iron Man himself while filming the Black Panther sequel. Thorne said: 

I wasn't able to speak with RDJ before we got into filming or anything, but right toward the conclusion of the film, I actually had the chance to speak with him through FaceTime. A cast mate over on Ironheart had actually done a show with him and connected us, and he had some beautiful words to say about how much he believes that Riri Williams is and should always be her own person, her own thing. That this legacy is headed in the right direction and all the beautiful encouraging things that you hope to hear from the Iron Man himself.

My best guess is that Thorne’s Ironheart co-star Alden Ehrenreich connected her with Downey, because he just starred alongside the Iron Man actor in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. It’s so sweet that a co-star, be it Ehrenreich or someone else, connected the two. 

Questions about if RDJ should return as Tony Stark for Ironheart have been swirling. However, the fact that the conversation between the two actors happened after Thorne had filmed the Disney+ series makes me think it’s unlikely we’ll see them on screen together. However, it sounds like he’s 100% on board with the direction Ironheart is headed and loves Thorne and her character. 

It is interesting that she didn’t talk to Downey until the filming for the Black Panther sequel was coming to an end. I feel like that really reiterates the overarching goal of making Riri her own character, one that is not dependent on the legacy of her predecessor. 

Personally, I can’t wait to see how Thorne and the rest of the Ironheart cast come together to create a show that honors Iron Man’s legacy but also has its own voice and identity. Based on what happened in Wakanda Forever, it seems like the stage is set nicely for Riri to play a big role in the future of the Avengers, and develop some technology that Tony Stark would be proud of (and probably wish he would have thought of). 

We’ll get to see Riri return in Ironheart next fall as part of Marvel’s lineup of upcoming TV shows. In the meantime, you can go see the young genius’ introduction to the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever which is currently in theaters. After that, you can go back and watch Iron Man kick off the MCU by checking out the Marvel movies in order with a Disney+ subscription

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.