'Ms. Marvel' will bring first Muslim superhero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk Series Ordered at Disney Plus
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to become even more diverse. Disney announced Friday at its D23 Expo that Ms. Marvel is being developed as a series for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service, joining such already-announced Marvel series as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye and the animated What If, all of which feature established characters.

Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige said the live-action series would focus on Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American girl from New Jersey who idolizes Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson in the MCU) and becomes a superhero in her own right. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project will be helmed by Bisha K. Ali, a British writer and performer who is currently working on Hulu’s Four Weddings and a Funeral reboot. Feige didn’t reveal any additional plot details, nor did he say who would play the lead character or whether Larson will appear in the series.

Last year, Venom star Riz Ahmed floated the idea that he, Mindy Kaling and Kumail Nanjiani should pen a script for a cinematic Ms. Marvel — an idea enthusiastically embraced by Kaling and the Twitterverse. He later explained to Yahoo Entertainment that he was a fan of the character and believed it would be a positive step for the continued diversification of the MCU. “I think there are much better qualified people to write the better Ms. Marvel movie than myself, and specifically I think it should be led by women — South Asian women,” Ahmed told us.

“It should really be led by women of color and Muslim women to tell that story,” Ahmed continued. “My tweet there was really just an attempt to shine a little bit of light on this project and just to let people know that there’s a lot of anticipation around this character as we enter a time when we’re looking to superheroes to give us the heroes that we might lack in real life.

“That’s a character that can inspire a lot of people,” he added. “So that was really just my way of fanning out.”

In addition to Ms. Marvel, Feige announced that two other live-action series are in the works. First up is Moon Knight, a cloaked crime-fighter and detective who prefers the shadows... not unlike a certain bat-eared hero who fights for Marvel’s distinguished competition.

Originally created in the 1970s, Moon Knight’s alter ego is Marc Spector, a former U.S. Marine who inherits the powers of an Egyptian moon god. Already a skilled boxer and martial artist, Spector’s Moon Knight abilities include enhanced strength — provided the moon is full, of course — and visions of things to come. Frequently seen in the company of characters like Daredevil and the Punisher, Moon Knight almost certainly would have popped up in Netflix’s corner of the Marvel universe had those shows dodged the axe. But with those Defenders retired (for now, at least), Disney+ is his natural new home.

She-Hulk is the other new show on Marvel’s Disney+ docket. In the comic book realm, She-Hulk was Bruce Banner’s cousin Jessica Walters, and received a dose of his gamma-generated powers following a blood transfusion. Unlike Bruce, though, people still liked her when she got angry because she held onto her intelligence and sense of humor after Hulking out.

As with Ms. Marvel, no further details were revealed about how She-Hulk will be adapted to the small screen. Because Jessica is one of the Marvel Universe’s finest legal minds, in addition to being one of its coolest superheroes, we’d personally love for the series to be Disney+’s answer to L.A. Law.

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