A deleted sequence from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever would have seen Riri mirroring a key Iron Man moment, but it’s good it was cut.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduced Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), whose Ironheart armor is inspired by Iron Man. It’s no secret that Riri takes a lot from the late Tony Stark, but a deleted Black Panther 2 scene that mirrored Iron Man’s journey would have hurt Riri’s story. Before she leads her own TV series Ironheart, Riri Williams joined Shuri (Letitia Wright) and the Wakandan army in the battle against Namor (Tenoch Huerta) and the Talokanil.
The MCU’s version of Riri Williams is a 19-year-old MIT student and genius inventor who developed a vibranium-detecting machine that, unbeknownst to her, was putting the underwater kingdom of Talokan in danger. Riri had a chance to wear her first Ironheart armor while running away from the government and the Talokanil along with Shuri and Okoye, and later, she was seen building a new, more advanced armor in Wakanda, mirroring when Tony was working on his new armor, but a deleted scene further mirrored Iron Man, and it would have been bad for Riri.
Wakanda Forever’s Deleted Scene Made Riri Williams Too Much Like Iron Man
In an interview with The Direct, Dominique Thorne revealed some deleted scenes from Black Panther 2, including a couple of sequences that would have created a parallel between Riri and Tony Stark. Thorne talked about sequences set in the Talokanil cave after Namor and his army took Riri and Shuri with them, which would have seen Riri and the Wakandan Princess bonding but also Riri having a moment very similar to a key one in Tony Stark’s story. In it, Riri realized that the what’s powering Talokan, named the Sastun, could help them escape, so under the excuse of helping the Talokanil, Riri and Shuri would have worked on the Sastun “siphoning off materials and supplies” to actually use it to escape.
This scene would have been very similar to what Tony Stark went through in the first Iron Man movie. Similarly to Riri, Tony Stark was kept captive by the Ten Rings and agreed to help them, but in reality, he was using the materials given to him to build his first armor, which he would use to escape from the cave. Just like Riri had Shuri, Tony counted on the help of Ho Yinsen, but unlike the women from Black Panther 2, Yinsen sacrificed himself so Tony could escape, while Riri and Shuri were rescued by Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o).
Why Riri Williams Doesn’t Need Links To Iron Man
Black Panther 2 confirmed that Riri Williams is Iron Man’s replacement in the MCU, but that doesn’t mean she has to mirror everything that Tony did and went through. Riri is already different from Tony in many ways, starting with their backstories, with Tony coming from a wealthy family and Riri not. Riri has had to build her own path, and Tony had everything at his disposal, so much so that he made many, many mistakes for years. If anything, Riri should learn from Iron Man’s mistakes (both as a person and as a superhero) and do her best to avoid them, while continuing to build her own path. Riri Williams’ essence and story shouldn’t be changed in order to create parallels with Iron Man, and Ryan Coogler and company made the right decision when cutting the above-mentioned scene from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.