The upcoming Marvel superhero television series Ms. Marvel is exciting the imagination of fantasy fans, not least because it features the lead role for a Muslim superhero, Kamala Khan, being played by 18 year-old Canadian Iman Vellani. The six-episode series is to be screened on Disney+ later this year.
Recent footage of Vellani in her superhero costume recently made it on-line, with the outfit pretty much replicating the costume as seen in the hit comic book, apart from red sneakers rather than the blue boots the character wears in comics…but then, that could be just for the sequence being shot. Sixteen-year-old Kamala Khan is Marvel's first Muslim on-screen character.
Vellani was announced as having the role in October 2020, with filming taking place in Atlanta and New Jersey in the US.
The showrunner and writer on the show is Bisha K Ali, who was a writer on the Four Weddings and a Funeral TV series, while directors announced for the series include Belgian Bad Boys for Life co-directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, along with Oscar-winning Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (who won an Oscar in 2016 for her documentary short A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness) and Indian-American director Meera Menon (who made 2013’s Farah Goes Bang and directed episodes of various TV series including Outlander and The Terror).
The series also stars Matt Lintz as Kamela’s love-interest Bruno Carrelli, along with Rish Shah (who plays Kamran, also an Inhuman like Kamela), Mohan Kapur and Laurel Marsden.
Kamala Khan, created by Sana Amanat, G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, is the fourth Marvel character to take the name Ms. Marvel. Khan first appeared in Captain Marvel #17 (November 2013) and is a 16-year-old Pakistani-American from Jersey City who idolises Carol Danvers, the original Ms. Marvel, who went on to take the superhero name Captain Marvel. Khan was given her own Ms. Marvel series, which premiered in February 2014, becoming Marvel Comics' first Muslim character to headline her own comic book.
Khan is a big comic book fan and after she discovers her superhuman powers – being a polymorph and able to lengthen her arms and legs and change her shape – she takes on the name of Ms. Marvel. Vellani is also set to play the character in Captain Marvel film sequel The Marvels, due to open on November 11, 2022, with Brie Larson reprising her role as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, with the cast also including Teyonah Paris (who appeared in WandaVision) and Zawe Ashton.