In a landscape dominated by white men and their high-tech toys, a new kind of superhero is debuting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Step aside, Tony Stark and Peter Parker: Kamala Khan has entered the chat. Ms. Marvel is the latest Disney+ series to expand upon the franchise and tells the story of Khan, a 16-year-old Pakistani-American Muslim who lives in Jersey City.
Khan made her first appearance in the comics in 2014 and an onscreen adaptation has reportedly long been in the works. (Carol Danvers used her moniker in the '70s, prior to becoming Captain Marvel, per The Hollywood Reporter). Last year, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed the release of Ms. Marvel, which will be written by Bisha K. Ali (Hulu's Four Weddings and a Funeral). Deadline reported last week that the show has officially found its lead. Here's what we know about the high-profile project so far.
Ms. Marvel is inspired by a popular comic series.
This series will center around Khan, a teenager who idolizes the Avengers before obtaining her own shape-shifting powers. The character was created by G. Willow Wilson, drawn by Adrian Alphona, and edited by Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker.
One of Khan's most distinguishable abilities is her "embiggened fist," a trait Wilson told Polygon will pose challenges onscreen. "She’s got very comic book-y powers," he told the outlet. "God bless them trying to bring that to live-action—I don’t know how that’s going to work out in a way that doesn’t look really creepy."
Tasked with making those powers come to life is showrunner Ali and a team of directors including Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life), Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Saving Face), and Meera Menon (The Magicians, Outlander).
The show has found its star.
Deadline was the first to report that newcomer Iman Vellani will play the titular role after "a long and hard search." This will be Vellani's onscreen debut and further casting details have not been announced.
Several celeb fans have expressed their excitement for the series.
As work on Ms. Marvel gets underway, several A-list fans have voiced their support for the show. Kumail Nanjiani, who will play the first Pakistani superhero for a Marvel movie in The Eternals, tweeted, "I just saw they cast Ms. Marvel and legit got teary eyed. Congratulations Iman Vellani! Your work is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included. I can’t wait."
I just saw they cast Ms. Marvel and legit got teary eyed.
Congratulations Iman Vellani! Your work is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included. I can’t wait.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) September 30, 2020
Mindy Kaling, who previously declared she read every Ms. Marvel comic, wrote, "What a joy in these trying times to see that #MsMarvel (a Pakistani American teen superhero!) has cast its lead role, a young actress named Iman Vellani! Congrats to you! I can’t wait to see the show! #RepresentationMatters"
What a joy in these trying times to see that #MsMarvel (a Pakistani American teen superhero!) has cast its lead role, a young actress named Iman Vellani! Congrats to you! I can’t wait to see the show! ❤️❤️❤️❤️#RepresentationMatters
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) September 30, 2020
The MCU's Hulk, Mark Ruffalo, also extended his congratulations via Twitter. During a 2019 press conference for Captain Marvel, Larson expressed a desire to welcome Ms. Marvel to a potential sequel. “My dream would be that Ms. Marvel gets to come into play in the sequel,” she told reporters, per Inverse. “That’s the goal.” Marvel president Feige confirmed the character would show up in other films during the D23 Expo later that year.
The show will premiere on Disney+ at some point.
Ms. Marvel is one of several superhero shows that will premiere exclusively on Disney+. It joins a lineup of series that will be connected to the Marvel films, including WandaVision, Hawkeye, Loki, and Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It's also one of several female-fronted superhero projects scheduled for release, in addition to the delayed Black Widow, She-Hulk starring Tatiana Maslany, and Natalie Portman as Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Reports circulated last year that Ms. Marvel would begin filming in spring 2020, although the pandemic has delayed virtually every production. That means a 2022 release date would likely be the earliest we'll see the new show.
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