The first true glimpse of Ms. Marvel was shown at Disney's Investor Meeting through a sizzle reel, and fans have been picking it apart to find everything they can. This includes Kamala potentially being a Valcarol shipper and planning to sneak out of her house to go to AvengerCon with her friend, all while dressed up as Captain Marvel.
Additionally, most of the cast was leaked early through social media sleuthing, combined with leaked casting calls with character descriptions. However, not every cast role was as well-received as Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan. Shortly after a sizzle reel for Ms. Marvel was shown at Disney's Investor Day by Kevin Feige, more details were given on the show and its cast online.
Marvel Entertainment gave a more concise synopsis for the Ms. Marvel series, describing Kamala Khan as “a great student, avid gamer, and voracious fan-fic scribe,” the latter of which came up dozens of times when imagining whatever crazy adventures or missions the Avengers may be on.
“The Marvel Studios original series centers on fan-favorite Kamala Khan — a 16-year-old Pakistani-American growing up in Jersey City. A great student, avid gamer, and voracious fan-fic scribe, Kamala has a special affinity for Super Heroes, particularly Captain Marvel.
However, Kamala struggles to fit in at home and at school — that is, until she gets super powers like the heroes she’s always looked up to. Life is easier with super powers, right?”
Additionally, the primary cast for the show was revealed:
Joining Vellani in Ms. Marvel, the cast also includes Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Naki, Azher Usman, Travina Springer and Nimra Bucha.
While not listed on the site, the majority of this casting was already rumored previously or confirmed by their actors or Marvel Studios, which is as follows:
Iman Vellani — Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel
Aramis Knight — Kareem / Red Dagger
Saagar Shaikh — Aamir Khan
Rish Shah — Kamran
Zenobia Shroff — Muneeba Khan
Mohan Kapur — Yusuf Khan
Matt Lintz — Bruno Carrelli
Yasmeen Fletcher — Nakia Bahadir
Laith Naki — Sheikh Abdullah
Azhar Usman — ???
Travina Springer — Tyesha Hillman
Nimra Bucha — ???
WHAT THIS MEANS
While not unexpected, Kamala's fan fiction obsession having such significance that it makes it into the synopsis for the show will make fans of the character pretty excited. Fans can go into Ms. Marvel with the expectation of seeing her working on one of her fanfics at least a couple of times throughout the series. It's nice to see her mentioned as an avid gamer, since there's even an entire story arc in the comic that revolves around Kamala and her hobby of video games and fighting against a living virus in the form of a literal troll.
It is unknown at this time who Azhar Usman or Nimra Bucha will be playing. Still, there is a likelihood that Bucha will be playing the AUNTIE RUBY character seen in a casting sheet, who could either be a relative of Kamala Khan or Kareem. As for Usman, he could be the AADAM also mentioned in the casting sheet, as he fits the description pretty well. Additionally, one character missing is Zoe Zimmer, who was seen on a casting sheet alongside Tyesha Hillman. In the comics, Zimmer is Kamala Khan's closeted bully, who eventually becomes a close friend at school.
With these casting announcements come more conflicting casting decisions from this show, which was already a bit disappointing with the casting of Zenobia Shroff and Yasmeen Fletcher as Muneeba Khan and Nakia Bahadir, respectively. Even more troubling casting comes from Aramis Knight cast as Kareem and Rish Shah as Kamran. In the comics, Kamala is a teenager and often has to deal with relationships and boys, with Kareem and Kamran being two of those boys.
One of them is evil, and the other is a superhero. In addition, one of them is far more ethically ambiguous than the other. The potential concern here is that Knight is playing the good guy (and is more lighter-skinned compared to his comic counterpart), while Shah, whose ethnicity isn't nearly as ambiguous, is playing the evil Inhuman Kamran who manipulates and kidnaps Kamala in the comics.
This casting information is potentially disappointing, but no blame should go to any of these actors. This positioning of roles was doubtfully done on purpose, but could be concerning for the series' cultural representation. Many Muslim and Pakistani fans have had expressed these same concerns online about this common perception in media and how it portrays them.
So, hopefully, the show itself makes up for these issues of representation when Ms. Marvel launches on Disney+ in 2021.