Marvel’s Ironheart has found a head writer.
Chinaka Hodge, who has writing credits on Apple’s revival of Amazing Stories and the TV adaptation of Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, will oversee the Disney+ comic book series, which tells the story of Riri Williams, a teenaged tech genius who reverse engineered an old Iron Man suit and essentially replaced Tony Stark after he stepped away from that role in the comics.
When Disney and Marvel officially announced that an Ironheart series was in the works, they called it an “original series about the creator of the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man.” We knew that the title role would be played by Dominique Thomas, who has gone an impressive two-for-two with her short list of credits so far (she has only appeared in If Beale Street Could Talk and Judas and the Black Messiah). But until today, that’s all the information we had about this series.
Now, thanks to Variety, we know who will be running the show. Chinaka Hodge has been tapped for that position, continuing Disney and Marvel’s tradition of giving lesser-known writers a significant step up in their careers and turning them into household names in the geek community. (Or, more cynically, you could look at this as Marvel executives continuing their pattern of choosing people they see as more pliable and easily controllable to slot into these leadership positions.)
I’ve never heard of Hodge before, but Variety says she is “a screenwriter, poet, playwright, and educator” who has written two books of poetry (“For Girls with Hips: Collected Poems and Writings” and “Dated Emcees”) and plays like “Chasing Mehserle” and “Mirrors in Every Corner.” She is also a founding member of the hip hop collective The Getback, which counts Snowpiercer actor Daveed Diggs as a co-founder. Here’s a video of a poem she recited on a TED stage in December of 2016:
Kevin Feige, Marvel’s chief creative officer and the mastermind behind the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, is executive producing the show, as he does for everything Marvel-related.
“This story of this brilliant, young woman whose life was marred by tragedy that could have easily ended her life—just random street violence—and went off to college was very inspiring to me,” writer Brian Michael Bendis once said about creating the Riri Williams character for the pages of Marvel Comics. “I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard. And I sat with it for awhile until I had the right character and the right place.”
Here’s a cool fan-made short film from a few years ago featuring an M.I.T. student playing Riri Williams, which features some nice visual effects work:
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