Iman Vellani Cast As Marvel’s First Muslim Superhero
Marvel has cast newcomer Iman Vellani as the studio’s first Muslim superhero for its Ms. Marvel series on Disney+.
Vellani will play Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teen based in New Jersey, who became the company’s first Muslim hero to headline her own comicbook back when she debuted in 2014.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been stuck in a constant cycle of delays, with Black Widow recently postponed to next year, its Disney+ development is flourishing, with Ms. Marvel’s casting an exciting sign of things to come.
The news was first reported by Deadline, explaining that ‘the plan always was to stay true to the character in finding the right actress to play the role, even if it meant offering a person that was not well known to the public’.
Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige also reportedly said that Vellani’s Kamala Khan will star in future MCU films in addition to her own series. Marvel has yet to comment on the casting.
G. Willow Wilson, the creator of the Ms. Marvel comics alongside artist Adrian Alphona and editors Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker, congratulated the young actress on social media, writing, ‘She is the real deal.’
The Big Sick star Kumail Nanjiani, who is also due to appear in Marvel’s Eternals, wrote on Twitter, ‘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.’
The Ms. Marvel series was announced at last year’s D23 Expo, alongside Moon Knight and She-Hulk, the latter of which recently confirmed its lead actress in Tatiana Maslany. It’s been in the works since 2018, with Feige earlier noting that the studio was waiting for Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel to appear before ramping up development.
Wilson earlier told Polygon:
I think there’re some characters who are very much set up for the big screen; they’re very naturally sort of cinematic. But with Ms. Marvel, we really weren’t interested in creating something that had very obvious film potential.
She’s got very comicbooky powers. 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.
Bad Boys For Life’s Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were recently tapped to direct ‘at least one episode’ of the MCU show, as well as Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Meera Menon. Screenwriter Bisha K. Ali has been credited as the creator of the series.
WandaVision, Marvel’s first Disney+ series, will debut on the platform later this year. There’s no official release date for Ms. Marvel at the time of writing, although it’s expected in late 2021 or early 2022.
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