In Disney’s latest move towards fulfilling their promise to “bring about lasting change through the inspiring content we produce,” the House of Mouse has added transgender and non-binary actor Zoe Terakes to the cast of Marvel’s upcoming Disney Plus series, Ironheart.
As announced by Deadline in an August 10th exclusive, Terakes will appear in the MCU television series in a “key role”, the details of which are currently being kept close to the chest by both Disney and Marvel – as evidenced by their declination to provide a comment to the outlet regarding the news.
An Australian actor, Terakes is perhaps known for playing the role of Reb Keane in the television drama series Wentworth, as well as the titular Abbie in the romantic comedy film Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt).
This reveal of Terakes’ addition to Ironheart comes just a week after it was announced that Ru Paul’s Drag Race star Jaren Kyei Merrell – better known by their stage name Shea Couleé – had been cast in the series in an as-of-yet-unidentified role as a series regular.
Further, as noted above, Ironheart’s emphasis on LGBT casting follows Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s March 2022 declaration that, after being embroiled in controversy regarding their initial desire to remain apolitical regarding Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill-turned-Law, the company would use their content to promote their ideal version of the world.
“There’s a reason [LGBTQ+] content is at the top of this list,” explained Chapek in a company-wide email. “For nearly a century, our company’s stories have opened minds, inspired dreams, shown the world both as it is and how we wish it could be, and now more than ever before, represent the incredible diversity of our society.”
“We are telling important stories, raising voices, and I believe, changing hearts and minds,” he added.
Pointing to recent productions such as “Encanto, Black Panther, Pose, Reservation Dogs, Coco, Soul, Modern Family, Shang-Chi, Summer of Soul, Love, [and] Victor,” the CEO then offered his belief that “these and all of our diverse stories are our corporate statements and they are more powerful than any tweet or lobbying effort.”
“I firmly believe that our ability to tell such stories – and have them received with open eyes, ears, and hearts – would be diminished if our company were to become a political football in any debate,” he added. “Powerful content that changes hearts and minds only springs from inclusive cultures, which not only attract and retain the best and most diverse talent, but also give those employees the freedom to bring forth ideas that reflect their lives and experiences.”
He ultimately affirmed, “We must work together to ensure Disney always remains such a place.”
Though an official release date for the Ironheart series has yet to be confirmed, the titular character is set to make her first MCU appearance this November in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.