Getting Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan into the MCU has been quite the journey, as the character's solo project was first announced back in 2019. Despite showing the first footage of Ms. Marvel back on Disney's Investor Day, and announcing a late 2021 release window, the world is only just now getting to see the take of New Jersey's local hero be told.
So why exactly did the project suffer such heavy delays? Earlier this year, it was rumored that the series would not only be holding reshoots in Atlanta, GA, and while the process is generally a standard affair when it comes to MCU productions' these were rumored to be substantial ones. The cast and crew were later confirmed to be back at it thanks to an Instagram post by Episode 4 and 5 director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy a few weeks later.
So what exactly caused these delays, and what might have been changed during those reshoots? Thankfully, The Direct was able to ask the show's director that very question.
Why Did Ms. Marvel Get Delayed?
In an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, Ms. Marvel director Shareem Obaid-Chinoy, who directed the series’ fourth and fifth episodes, opened up about what may have changed during reshoots, and why the show may have been delayed from its original Summer 2021 release date.
According to the director, nothing major was changed during the show’s more recent reshoots. Instead, they were simply “making sure that there was a sort of cohesive storyline that ran through,” and so they had “a few pickups here and there” to help tie it all together:
“I think that we went back and did some pickup shoots in which we were tying the story in together, and making sure that there was a sort of cohesive storyline that ran through. And I think that each, you know, sort of, with each one of the episodes, when you sort of complete the series, you go back and you just think about all of the other things that you could have brought in and done that. So we did a few pickups here and that.”
As for why the series ended up being pushed back to 2022, Obaid-Chinoy noted how she “[think[s] it was the pandemic,” as they had lots of big scenes which “require[d]… hundreds and hundreds of extras,” something that became far harder with the COVID restrictions in place:
“I think it was the pandemic. To be honest, I think that the pandemic was so cyclical, that every time we thought it was coming to an end, it would re-emerge its sort of ugly head. And I think that there are some very big scenes in Ms. Marvel and that require, you know, hundreds and hundreds of extras and that are shot on location, and they're outdoors. And, you know, there is international travel and, and I think that putting a six-part series that is shot in multiple countries with diverse crews and multiple characters in a pandemic requires time.”
Making a More Cohesive Kamala Khan Tale
Obaid-Chinoy's reveal that she was only involved in "a few pickups here and there" lines up with what was previously publicly known about how the reshoots changed the series. Previously, the show's sound mixer, Chris Giles, told The Direct how the process "[didn't involve anything] super extensive to change the story."
Could there be other reasons Marvel would rather the wider world not know? Sure, of course—as is usually the case when it comes to big-name projects like these. But no matter what they were, it seems those reshoots, in the end, helped round out an incredibly well-received and loved Disney+ show. In the end, that's all that really matters.
There's always a chance some of those changes could still be set to arrive in these last two episodes, especially if the show is going to set up Iman Vellani's transition over to The Marvels. Ironically enough, the sequel to Brie Larson's Captain Marvel is also in the midst of reshoots—though, again, if this Kamala Khan's story is anything to go by, never assume that to be a bad thing.
Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney+, with new episodes airing every Wednesday.