Ms. Marvel sits among the most unique projects to come out of the MCU as it dives into Muslim culture for the first time, while Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan struggles with the difficulties of being a teenage super fan-turned-hero. Naturally, this has opened up a number of new doors for the MCU, including new cities and soon-to-be corners of the world.
The Disney+ series first began filming in Atlanta, Georgia in November 2020 before wrapping up production in Bangkok, Thailand in May 2021, returning for reshoots this January. So far, Ms. Marvel has introduced audiences to New Jersey for the first time in the MCU, and with filming having been completed in Southeast Asia, the adventure will no doubt expand soon.
After fans raised concerns about Kamala's powers switching from her stretchy comic abilities to Green Lantern-esque light constructs, many hoped the reshoots would change that, particularly after rumors promised significant changes.
Ultimately, that proved not to be the case, so, what changed? Ms. Marvel sound mixer Chris Giles recently discussed just that in an exclusive interview.
What Did Ms. Marvel's Reshoots Change?
In an exclusive interview with The Direct, Ms. Marvel sound mixer Chris Giles discussed how the reshoots conducted in January changed the series.
When asked if he was involved in the return to production, Giles confirmed he was and explained his dedication to finishing the project, despite offers from other studios:
"Yes. For better or worse, I said no to a lot of really, really good projects with other studios. I hope I didn't do the wrong thing. But I was so focused on wanting to see this thing from start to finish. And I made sure to not tag along but make sure that it was known that I wanted to finish this project for every little aspect I could, and I was able to help staff all the other departments in with respect to sound, and I feel like I got to, behind the scenes, have more of a fingerprint on this."
Commenting on how extensive the reshoots were, the sound mixer revealed elements were changed and replaced, but there was "nothing super extensive to change the story:"
"The one constant in life is change. The one constant in the MCU is yes, there's change. Not as, there were certain moments where I'm like, 'Oh, yeah, we're definitely going to rewrite that.' And then we change something else later in the story. Now, all that makes sense. So some elements did get changed in reshoots, some of them were fully replaced. Some of them were just like, 'Oh, we just need her grabbing the door or something simple like that.' So, there was a decent amount of change, but nothing, nothing super extensive to change the story."
Giles also explained his role as the sound mixer to record and deliver "the spoken word for the story." He also noted the need to "[travel] quite a bit" around the world for the series throughout his year of work:
"So, my primary role is delivering the story, the spoken word for the story, or the dialogue. In this scenario, we traveled quite a bit. And I was, I think I was on the project for a good year. So there was breakups here and there and time off and all that. But we did this in a couple of different places in the world and being able to capture some of the more authentic elements."
The sound mixer teased how venturing outside North America affected his role, as it allowed him to record some different audio elements that were "unique to that environment:"
"You know, let's just come up with a scenario, say, they're in a place, and they play a record player, while capturing that actual sound of an antique record player served a purpose for the final product. Where in a lot of standard projects, you don't really have to do that because it's all domestic, and we can replace everything and anything, and if there's some strange songbird, whatever it is that's unique to that environment, you don't really need it because we can synthesize it because everything's being shot in North America, this was a little different, I was able to capture a few things, sometimes accidental, sometimes very on purpose and intentional, and provide that and some of those elements feel ended up in the final product. And if I do what I do, well, you don't necessarily 100% know that I did it. It's because you get engrossed in the project. Of course, you know, I'm not there by myself. There's dozens of people around and pages of VFX people and everything else, but you don't necessarily want to say, 'Oh, it was that one element in that scene?' No, it's that whole collaborative thing that brought you into that scene. And I was able to do that a little bit more on this project. I really, really like it."
Giles also briefly discussed his next MCU outing that is currently in the works. Discussing his previously stated interest in working with “a very different type of hero than we're accustomed to,” the Ms. Marvel crew member shared that he felt he achieved that with this series, as well as his "next one:"
"Yes. And also, with the next one that I'm working on."
After being asked whether he could offer further comment, Giles explained the Marvel rule that allows him to "allude to it" but not discuss it fully until just after release:
"No, unfortunately not yet. I think the Marvel rule is somewhere around the release, one week after release is generally their... For either their episodic or for their films. Unless we are sanctioning this. I kind of have to be… I can allude to it."
Just before closing out the discussion, Giles offered one comment on his next MCU outing, teasing that it will "introduce a host of characters:"
"I can say it's going to introduce a host of characters that people want to see or maybe don't know they want to see yet…"
Ms. Marvel's Reshoots Weren't That Bad After All?
Early in the year, when Ms. Marvel was first revealed to be having extensive reshoots, many became hopeful her power-set may be changed from the Green Lantern-inspired constructs of the series to her stretching and shape-shifting abilities from the comics. Obviously, this wasn't the case.
Based on Chris Giles' comments, it appears the reshoots for the Disney+ project were somewhat extensive, but not in the sense that the overarching story was affected. Perhaps this may be boiled down to a change in camera angles, re-recording of lines, and picking up the occasional extra shot.
Many fans have a tendency to hear the reference to reshoots and take that as an indication of drastic problems with the original cut. But, reshoots are commonplace across Hollywood, particularly in the MCU, as filmmakers often realize changes that could benefit the project during the editing and post-production stages.
It's also interesting to hear the sound mixer teasing his next MCU outing, which sounds as if it may be in production right now. Based on what's known to be shooting, the obvious guess is the Hawkeye spin-off Echo, which is currently in the works in Atlanta.
If this is the case, then who knows which "host of characters" are on their way to the MCU in Echo, particularly with the promise that these are characters "people want to see." Perhaps this may be a reference to the cast of Daredevil, who has already been rumored to return in the Disney+ project.
The first two episodes of Ms. Marvel are streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.