Disney+ has reportedly cast newcomer Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel aka Kamala Khan, who was Marvel comics’ first Muslim hero to headline her own titles.
Though Ms. Marvel has existed as a character in the comic books since the 1960s, the live-action Disney+ series will focus on the latest incarnation, Kamala, a 16-year-old Pakistani American who hails from Jersey City, New Jersey.
Bisha K. Ali, a writer on Hulu’s Four Weddings and a Funeral adaptation, will pen the pilot and also serve as showrunner, while announced directors include Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life), Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness) and Meera Menon (The Magicians).
As Marvel Studios’ first onscreen Muslim hero, Ms. Marvel is expected to eventually appear in future MCU films, Marvel Studio president Kevin Feige said at D23 Expo in 2019. “We wanted to get Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson) out there first so that there is something for a young Muslim girl to get inspired by,” he explained a year prior, at the 10th annual Produced By conference.
On what appears to her her Instagram account, Iman Vellani said she is “Speechless and excited! Wish me luck.”
Neither Disney+ nor Marvel have yet to confirm the casting.
Pakistani-American actor and screenwriter Kumail Nanjiani, who is set to play master swordsman Kingo in Marvel’s upcoming The Eternals, meanwhile tweeted that he “legit got teary eyed” upon learning of Vellani’s casting: “Your work is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included. I can’t wait.”
Coming off of this and Tatiana Maslany’s recent casting as Disney+’s She-Hulk, the next Marvel hero role waiting to be filled is Moon Knight, which like the others was announced in July 2019.