19 year old Canadian actress Iman Vellani, a Muslim teenager of Pakistani heritage, will play Marvel’s first Muslim superhero, Ms Marvel AKA Kamala Khan. The upcoming 6 episode miniseries series ‘Ms Marvel’ is based on the best-selling Marvel comic book series of which Iman was a huge fan growing up.
“The whole reason I got into the comics was because I saw in her a girl like me. She was Pakistani-Muslim superhero fanatic. I was a Pakistani-Muslim superhero fanatic. And it was just crazy, because I didn’t think a story like that was possible, because I never really saw it before…and I just completely fell in love with her”
Kamala is a ‘regular’ teenager growing up in Jersey City, an avid gamer and superhero fan, trying to find her place in the world, dealing with family issues, teen angst, boy troubles and simply trying to fit in at high school, when her dreams of being a superhero come true. We see Kamala adapt to her new life where she learns how to use her cosmic powers like her hero Captain Marvel, powers which include shape-shifting abilities and manifesting light.
The show really spotlights and explores South Asian culture, with not only the main character having Pakistani heritage, but also co-stars of South Asian descent including Aramis Knight who plays vigilante Red Dagger, Saagar Shaikh who plays Kamala’s older brother Amir, and Matt Lintz who plays Kamala’s best friend Bruno Carrelli. Zenobia Shroff and Mohan Kapur also appear as Kamala’s parents, and the show is led by creator and head writer Bisha K. Ali, with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah directing as well as Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Meera Menon.
“I’ve gotten to meet so many incredible people who are part of this project and…from a South Asian Muslim background, because I didn’t really see many people from a creative side who looked like me doing things that I wanted to do when I was a kid. I’m just very happy that we can be the ones to bring this precious character to mainstream media…film and television shape how we see people in this world, so accurate representation is so long overdue. I couldn’t be more happy that Marvel is taking steps and being more inclusive and creating space for a character like Kamala to exist”
The show is a big win for representation for young muslim girls, who like Iman, likely never expected they would see someone who looked like them in such a large scale and far reaching production. We cannot wait to see Ms Marvel flex her superpowers! Catch it form the 8th June on Disney+.