Ms. Marvel Actress Says Disney+ Show Is 'Cheesy' for a Good Reason

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Ms. Marvel Iman Vellani

Even though Moon Knight and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have come and gone, Marvel Studios' 2022 slate of content has only just begun; and next on the docket is the MCU's seventh Disney+ series, Ms. Marvel. Starring Iman Vellani as 16-year-old Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel is a coming-of-age story that shows what happens when a teenage superhero fan gets superpowers of her own. 

While each MCU film and MCU series is unique, Ms. Marvel stands apart for several reasons. In addition to Kamala Khan being a Pakistani-American teen and the first-ever superhero of Muslim descent, she's already confirmed to make the jump from Disney+ to the big screen in 2023 in The Marvels

Also, apart from the character's new (and somewhat controversial) cosmic powers, Ms. Marvel appears to be a grounded tale and, according to Iman Vellani herself, "as authentic as possible" to the modern teenage experience. 

Ms. Marvel Star Describes Her Disney+ Show

Ms Marvel, Marvel Studios

In an interview with Zavvi, Kamala Khan's own Iman Vellani described Ms. Marvel as "John Hughes-esque mixed with Lady Bird and Scott Pilgrim" while also justifying "how cheesy the show gets sometimes."

From what fans have seen from the show's trailer and TV spots, Ms. Marvel centers on Kamala's life at home and at school in Jersey City, where she doesn't quite fit in, preferring her own superhero fantasies to reality. 

According to the actress, Ms. Marvel "really embraces the teen coming-of-age vibe," saying,

“It is John Hughes-esque mixed with Lady Bird and Scott Pilgrim. It’s a lot more lighthearted than the other shows. We showcase that being a teenager is awkward, corny, and weird." 

While Vellani says she and Marvel are "self-aware of how cheesy" the series gets, it's actually in step with the subject matter and what her character is experiencing, which include "emotions, crushes, friendships:"

“We are self-aware of how cheesy the show gets sometimes, but when you are growing up everything is so heightened – your emotions, crushes, friendships – it all feels so new. Minor inconveniences also feel like the end of the world. We hold onto that feeling of when you are a kid just wanting to grow up. And when you are a teenager you think you know everything but you don’t as you haven’t lived yet. We really lean into that.”

Even though those heightened emotions and crushes are timeless coming-of-age issues, capturing the authentic teen experience was important to Ms. Marvel's creators as Vellani and the cast were asked to "share our experiences and bring ourselves to characters:" 

“The creators and directors have done a great job in working with the cast, asking us to share our experiences and bring ourselves to the characters. It was very collaborative. We are pretty young and just come out of high school, so that made the show as authentic as possible.”

Why Ms. Marvel's Origin Will Resonate With Audiences

Even though Ms. Marvel isn't the MCU's first teenage superhero story, it sounds as if it may be the most relatable. 

Even though Tom Holland's Spider-Man trilogy showed the teen hero learning to cope with his abilities and responsibility, a significant amount of his screen time was spent outside of school and with super-powered and/or high-tech-fitted adults. In contrast, Ms. Marvel will have six episodes to explore the young heroine's life in Jersey City and to complete her origin story before having to appear in a theatrical film. 

Even though this upcoming series will have a lighter tone than that of Moon Knight and Multiverse of Madness, fans shouldn't overlook this new MCU story. After all, everyone can relate to those awkward, comedic, and often heartfelt high school experiences. And, even though teens are at the center of this Marvel tale, themes of identity, growth, and family are timeless. 

After all, that's why John Hughes films like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, as well as Lady Bird and Scott Pilgrim, are so well-known because, despite being about young people, they resonate with audiences. 

While Ms. Marvel was already an important show, and even though this young hero's future is already guaranteed, it sounds as if audiences are in for something truly special and sincere with Kamala Khan's MCU debut. 

The first episode of Ms. Marvel premieres June 8 on Disney+.

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.