The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in an age of expansion after the successful Infinity Saga, with Phase 4 poised to introduce new heroes into the mix while also establishing different legacies along the way. A good chunk of these new characters will debut in their respective Disney+ series, one of them being Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American, in Ms. Marvel.
The character will be played by newcomer Iman Vellani, and she will be joined by a star-studded ensemble that includes the likes of Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, and Matt Lintz. Plot details are still being kept under wraps, but it is all but confirmed that Ms. Marvel will showcase Kamala's origin story in the MCU.
Production is currently underway for the Marvel series, with filming reportedly commencing in Bangkok, Thailand. A new leak also surfaced recently, showcasing the first look at Vellani's comic-accurate costume for the show.
While fans wait for another trailer, an important development for Ms. Marvel has emerged.
MARVEL STUDIOS EMBRACES CULTURAL REPRESENTATION
Deadline shared in a report that Marya Bangee has been hired as Disney Studios Content’s VP of Multicultural Audience Engagement.
The newly hired Disney executive has her own company called SILA Consulting, a firm that advises on film and television projects. Specifically, according to their website, the firm "looks at... productions from the lens of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, mental health, and disability" and "flag(s) potential concerns and provide(s) advice on how to avoid or mitigate risk." To do this, the firm reviews scripts, analyzes artwork, and provides feedback to studios through the production process.
According to Deadline, the firm became a consultant on Disney's live-action Aladdin movie and the upcoming Disney+ series, Ms. Marvel.
A GOOD MOVE AHEAD OF MS. MARVEL
Thor: Love and Thunder star Tessa Thompson previously mentioned in an interview that Phase 4 of the MCU will push for more on-screen representation, and this new development is definitely a step in the right direction not just for Ms. Marvel, but for the rest of the franchise.
In many ways, this is an important step for Marvel Studios as it helps create an authentic narrative for Kamala Khan and her peers in the show. Ms. Marvel also tapped crew members who understand the Muslim culture, headlined by showrunner Bisha K. Ali, thus steering the show's storyline into a more realistic direction.
The lack of diversity of the Marvel brand has often been criticized over the years, mainly because it took them a while to showcase people of color leading roles. The late Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther paved the way for more representation in the MCU, with Brie Larson's Captain Marvel following that trend in 2019.
Phase 4 will look to further fill its slate with more diverse lead characters, as evidenced by the inclusion of heroes like Kamala Khan and Shang-Chi in the fray. This is on top of arrivals of forms of representation in Eternals (Phastos and Makkari) and Hawkeye (Echo).
The superhero genre is clearly the leading brand in Hollywood right now. The introduction of a Muslim hero in Ms. Marvel creates a prime opportunity to showcase a unique story while also elevating her cultural background along the way.
With Kamala set to join Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau in The Marvels, the character is set to reach a wider audience with the potential to inspire Muslims around the globe like never before.
Ms. Marvel is expected to be released on Disney+ in late 2021.