Take an in-depth look at the behind the scenes of Ms. Marvel.
Ms. Marvel is the latest entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We recently attended the global press conference. So, we wanted to share with you what we learned about this new series.
A FIRST IN THE MCU
Kamala Khan is actually the first Muslim and the first South Asian superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So it is a big first because it is going to mean so much to a lot of people, the same way it did with her comics run.
And for that, they brought in Sana Amanat, one of the co-creators of the character. She acts as an executive producer on the series. Obviously for her, it was a great joy to see her character brought to life as she explained “Kevin let us know that he wanted to make this into a show, I was thrilled.”
For Kevin Feige, “it always seemed inevitable.” And Disney Plus gave them the opportunity to tell Ms. Marvel’s “full” story over the course of six episodes.
MS. MARVEL’S NEXT ADVENTURE
This new series is only the beginning of Kamala Khan’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Indeed, we already know when we will see her next. Kevin Feige reiterated that they will have her “transition into a feature.” And that feature film is The Marvels, hitting cinemas next Summer.
HOW IMAN VELLANI GOT HER CASTING CALL
It is no secret that Iman Vellani is a big MCU fan. So she had to try to get the role. As she recalled “I was like, my 10-year-old self is gonna hate me if I don’t even try.”
The casting process started in February 2020 on Whatsapp. She sent her tape and got a call. She then flew to L.A. but after that, the pandemic hit which alted the process. It picked up steam again in June 2020 and Iman revealed that she actually got “casted on the last day of high school.” It was definitely a unique way to finish school.
FANS OF THE MCU
Even though, no one is a bigger fan of the MCU than Iman Vellani, the rest of the young cast are all fans of this universe as well. For them, it was all a dream come true.
“I’ve been a huge fan of the MCU for, like, the majority of my life. So going from watching these incredible characters on screen to getting the insane opportunity to play one, has been, like, literally the biggest honor of my life.” Yasmeen Fletcher said. She plays Nakia, one of Kamala’s friends. “It really was something […] like all of us have grown up with,” Rish Shah added. He plays Kamran.
FROM PAGES TO SCREEN
The big different between the comics and the live-action version of Ms. Marvel is her powers. In the comics, her Inhuman powers are activated by a Terrigen bomb. She has polymorph powers, she can embiggen, stretch … In the series, she has a different set of powers as she can create crystals. It is more cosmic. Plus, her powers are activated by putting on a family bracelent. So why the change?
The headwriter Bisha K. Ali explained that it was “a group decision talking through how she’s gonna exist in the MCU.” The intent was to “stay true to the character […] and still add something new, add a freshness. Add a vitality and a contemporary edge.”
REPRESENTATION AND AUTHENTICITY
It was important to represent Kamala Khan’s world and the South Asian culture in an authentic way. This is what representation is about – letting people see themselves in the characters, the worlds on screen. Director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy summed up the importance of diverse stories, as she explained “Telling this story is going to change so much for so many people, because I know I have two young girls that when they see Kamala Khan, they too will know that they can also be a superhero.”
The team also made sure to get all the details right to represent the South Asian/Muslim culture. For example for the characters wearing a hijab, they had a consultant on set to help them having everything right. Yasmeen recalled “That was one of the first things we knew was incredibly important was to make sure each of the hijabs looked different and that we had the right person actually wrapping them.” Moreover, Mohan Kapur who plays Kamala’s dad talked about the everyday life “like you go to the mosque, you put your shoes over there, you come back and the shoes are gone. That’s a real thing.” These may be “small scenes” but it brings authenticity to the lives of these characters.
THE VISUAL STYLE
This distinct visual style we see with the animation was actually an idea from directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. For them, it was a “cool way” to “translate her imagination and her fancy world.” They had prepared a whole presentation for their pitch to explain why this was important. And to the surprise Marvel said yes as long as they don’t do it “every five seconds.”
MS. MARVEL’S COSTUME
Arjun Bashin designed the costume for the series. And it is a costume that represents the character’s South Asian heritage while also being a Marvel superhero suit. As Iman Vellani explained Arjun “had incorporated so many beautiful cultural prints into the fabric.” like the dupatta, which is the scarf. For Sana, it was “really fun […] adapting the comic book design.”
The first episode featured an in-universe Avengers Con. It was basically a San Diego Comic-Con but it was all about the Avengers. Seeing that Star Wars is doing its own Celebration, people have been wondering if the MCU could do something similar. Kevin Feige addressed the possibility saying that “we were definitely talking about that on the set. […] I think that might be fun to do some time, yes.” So you have your answer. Only time will tell if this happens.
Ms. Marvel is streaming now on Disney Plus.
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