In Marvel Studios’ latest series MS. MARVEL, we are introduced to Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teenager growing up in Jersey City. An avid gamer and a voracious fan-fiction scribe, Kamala is a Super Hero mega-fan with an oversized imagination – particularly when it comes to Captain Marvel. Yet Kamala feels like she doesn’t fit in at school and sometimes even at home – that is, until she gets super powers like the heroes she’s always looked up to. Life gets better with superpowers, right?
The series, which premiered exclusively on Disney+ on June 8th, stars Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel. The cast also includes Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Nakli, Azhar Usman, Travina Springer, and Nimra Bucha.
Recently, Nightmarish Conjurings took part in the global press conference for MS. MARVEL. Moderating the conference was international news journalist and host of the Al Jazeera English news podcast, Malika Bilal. Joining the conference was Iman Vellani (“Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel”), Rish Shah (“Kamran”), Yasmeen Fletcher (“Nakia”), Matt Lintz (“Bruno”), Mohan Kapur (“Yusuf”), Zenobia Shroff (“Muneeba”), Saagar Shaikh (“Aamir”), Sana Amanat (Producer and Writer – based on the character by), Meera Menon (Series Director, episodes 2 & 3), Adil El Arbi (Series Director, episode 1 & 6 and Executive Producer), Bilall Fallah (Series Director, episodes 1 & 6 and Executive Producer), Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (director, Episodes 4 & 5) and Kevin Feige (Executive Producer).
Kicking off the conference, Bilal wasted no time in zeroing in on the obvious – this was both MCU’s first Muslim and South Asian superhero. With that said, Bilal turned to Producer/Writer/Co-Creator Sana Amanat to discuss the process of getting this series greenlit.
“This is all very, very trippy. I mean when Willow and I were crafting this comic about eight years ago, we joked about how we’re like, ‘Mm, this is not gonna get past issue nine.” No one’s going to care. And lo and behold Kevin Feige cared which is amazing and, of course, the rest of the world. The comic did really well. We had incredible runs. And I think what I love about it the most is that it had people from different backgrounds, people that never really read comics before showing up in comic shops for the first time because of what this meant and what it stood for. And I think that is really sort of the merits of the success of this series. And a few years later when Kevin let us know that he wanted to make this into a show, I was thrilled. I also feel like it’s kind of perfect for a series, a live-action series. But yeah, I just, I don’t understand exactly how and why. I think because she’s pretty great. And Kevin can tell us why specifically he chose Kamala.”
Jumping off Amanat’s response, Executive Producer Kevin Feige gave more insight into bringing this series to life as well as the excitement that fans had to finally see this character up on the big screen:
“Why not, I say. I mean honestly Marvel, it’s such a privilege because not only are the re-interpretations every few years of existing wonderful characters, but every once in a while, and it does seem like every decade or so, there’s a new character that comes around that catches the audience’s imagination. And this character did that. And as I said to some people on the red carpet last night, almost from the first issue people started asking us in environments like this when we were promoting other things, when is Kamala Khan coming? When is Ms. Marvel coming? So, it always seemed inevitable in a gray way that we would be able to do it. When Disney+ came around, it really gave us the opportunity to do what we really wanted to do, which was to tell her full story in six episodes. And then have her then transition into a feature. And as Sana said, I’m so proud of bringing new characters to the screen and not just telling re-interpretations of characters people have seen for decades and decades. And I think that’s important. I want people who’ve never even considered watching a Marvel Studios production before to be excited and watch this show and then go watch all the other ones.”
With MS. MARVEL now out for the world for all to watch, Amant along with Co-director/Executive Producer Adil El Arbi discussed how it’s the cast that makes this series so special and what they hope viewers will take away from the show.
“That people can see the show, fall in love with Kamala Khan with her friends and her family. Because you know, she has superpowers, but her real powers are the love and the care from her friends and family,” explained Arbi. “So, this magnificent cast here that brought these characters to life, that’s the real main reason to watch the show. And I hope, you know, it’s gonna be their family, the same way that we all became family. That’s what I will say about that.”
“I think what’s really incredible about this show is like this idea of, you know, we’ve been talking a lot about identity and sort of there’s so much celebration happening in the course of these episodes,” stated Amanat. “In every single episode, there’s just so much love and connectivity. And I feel like this show is really about sort of, you know, a reclamation of your identity, about going back to whatever households. Watch this show and go back to your own households, your own community and kind of relish in it. And celebrate your community and the fact that we can be proud in whatever skin color, background, sexual identity that we might have, and embrace it. We want this show to feel so joyous ‘cause I mean I think this is obviously such a joyous team here. But we want the show and the people to feel joyous afterwards and to celebrate in the fact of who they are and who their communities are and just kinda spread that love outwards.”
MS. MARVEL is streaming now exclusively on Disney+.
All images courtesy Daniel McFadden. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved..
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