The future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is wide open, and Disney+ will serve as a huge part of that. News about the MCU Disney+ shows has been surfacing in the past weeks, including the notable casting of She-Hulk, Nick Fury being featured in an untitled Disney+ show, the WandaVision trailer, and Ms. Marvel finally landing several directors.
Among all the shows mentioned, Ms. Marvel is one of the few remaining projects that has yet to cast their lead star. Several casting rumors have emerged in the past weeks, seemingly hinting that Ms. Marvel will soon make a huge announcement about the actress who will portray the titular heroine. And now, an important piece of Ms. Marvel news has arrived.
Deadline shared in a report that Iman Vellani has been tapped to play Kamala Khan for MCU's Ms. Marvel Disney+ series.
The outlet noted that Vellani was part of the Next Wave Committee at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival "which was tasked with adding a special tag to films" that "would resonate with their peers." This essentially means that the actress is already making an effort to "help diversify the industry:"
"Though this marks Vellani’s first major Hollywood production, she has already made tries in trying to help diversify the industry. At the 2019 Toronto Film Festival, she was part of the Next Wave Committee which was tasked with adding a special tag to films — already programmed into other categories — which they believed would resonate with their peers."
Per an article from about one year ago, Vellani is in her late teenage years (either 18 or 19 years old).
Meanwhile, Eternals star Kumail Nunjani expressed his excitement to the news of Vellani being added to the growing roster of MCU heroes.
I just saw they cast Ms. Marvel and legit got teary eyed.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) September 30, 2020
Congratulations Iman Vellani! Your work is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included. I can’t wait.
Ms. Marvel showrunner Bisha K. Ali also reacted to the news of Vellani joining the Marvel series.
The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit shared the casting process of Ms. Marvel by revealing that Marvel Studios was testing actresses "in the summer" and that they made their decision by "late August/early September:"
Toronto International Film Festival also congratulated Vellani for landing the role of Kamala Khan for Ms. Marvel.
WHAT THIS MEANS
The addition of Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan will be a welcome piece of good news for the production timeline of Ms. Marvel and for fans who are looking forward to the show. Interestingly, a previous rumor suggests that Ms. Marvel will begin filming later this year, and this casting addition lines up with that.
It's worth noting that it was already rumored back then that Kamala will appear in Captain Marvel 2 before her first solo series, and there's a chance that Vellani could suit up first for the sequel, similar to what Tom Holland did for Captain America: Civil War before Spider-Man: Homecoming. Regardless, landing an actress for the role of Kamala could prove vital to the interconnected storytelling of the MCU since it will open up the possibility of the character appearing in other projects.
The reveal that Vellani was involved with a diversity-focused project from the Toronto Film Festival is a significant achievement for the actress, and this will help in terms of elevating the live-action version of Kamala Khan into greater heights. As it is, it's good to know that a newcomer actress like Vellani spent time in making bold steps in diversifying the industry.
At this point, Ms. Marvel already has directors at the helm, and the lead actress for the titular role. It wouldn't be surprising if more casting additions are announced soon. Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see Vellani's take on Kamala as well as her dynamic with the rest of the MCU heroes.