MIT video introduces a live action Riri Williams as female Iron Man

Posted on 16 March 2017
By Khyle Deen
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology students amaze each and every day. From their IQs to their forward thinking and evolutionary advancements around science and technology, these students constantly innovate and move the needle whenever possible – even with their campus announcements.

MIT’s latest announcement for PI Day, the huge school-wide celebration announcing who will be new admissions to the program, students crafted a promo video starring Invincible Iron Man’s Riri Williams, who goes by Ironheart. The character flies through campus carrying a metal tube (implied admission letters) and includes the caption, “Not all heroes wear capes. But some carry tubes.”

The student film, released by MIT, is impressive to say the least, achieving a level of Hollywood-esque production value, with their model of Riri Williams in her Iron Man suit. The story follows Riri, a student at MIT, as she goes from sitting in a class, to designing and building her own super suit and heading into the office of Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions, to help him make dreams come true, clearly a very important task. You can watch the brilliant video in our video box.

Cowboy L. ’20 and Loren S. ’17 produced the video, with Chris Peterson SM ’13 and Selam G. ’18 directing. Tumblr fanart inspired the Riri suit and the Ironheart model was modified from “Iron_Man” by TurboSquid user Dipu_1. There aren’t many other details surrounding the video and it looks as though Marvel had no involvement. The students rather, used their own designs based on available artwork found online.

The character of Riri Williams first appeared in Invincible Iron Man volume 7 #7 and operates under the codename Ironheart. In the story, Riri is a 15-year-old engineering student who starts attending MIT on scholarship. On her own, Riri designs a suit of armor mimicking Iron Man’s using stolen material from campus. When caught by campus security, Riri jumps in her suit and escapes. Shortly after, she stops two inmates from escaping the New Mexico State Penitentiary, marking her first heroic act. When Tony Stark gets word of her accomplishments, he condones her desire to become a superhero.

The current Hollywood climate of emerging female superheroes makes the students’ decision to use Ironheart as their 2017 hero adds a lot of excitement to the project. Watching Riri come to life on screen, even if it just a laptop or a smartphone screen, is building excitement among Iron Man fans. With Marvel’s Captain Marvel and DC’s Wonder Woman on the horizon, maybe the buzz will tickle studio executive ears and we’ll one day see Ms. Williams fly across the silver screen in the future.