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Marvel Finds Its Ms. Marvel Lead in Newcomer Iman Vellani

Young actress lands the coveted Disney+ series role after a long and thorough casting search

ms marvel Iman Vellani disney+ series show cast kamala khan
Ms. Marvel (Marvel) and Iman Vellani (photo via TIFF)
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Marvel has found the latest hero to bear its name. Newcomer Iman Vellani has been cast as the title character in the upcoming Disney+ series Ms. Marvel.

Vellani is a complete unknown in Hollywood, with her only notable connection being her spot on the Toronto International Film Festival’s Next Wave Committee last year. As Deadline reports, Marvel was determined to find the perfect actress for the role, regardless of their usual A-list casting habits. After a long and thorough process, Vellani nabbed the coveted part. The plan is to have her debut in the Disney+ show before she transitions to the big screen.

Ms. Marvel debuted in 2014 as Marvel’s first Muslim hero to headline their own comic series. The character is Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teen living in New Jersey. She’s a polymorph who can stretch her body — or as she calls it, “embiggening.” Befitting her age, she’s active on social media and a huge fan of superheroes, taking the name Ms. Marvel in honor of Captain Marvel and even borrowing that space-faring hero’s color scheme for her own costume. (In the comics, Khan gets her powers when she discovers she’s an Inhuman, but given that the Inhumans series is Marvel’s one true failure to date, we doubt that connection will be part of the character’s story.)

Bisha K. Ali (Hulu’s Four Weddings and a Funeral) was previously announced as showrunner and head writer. Marvel also recently tapped Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life), Academy Award-winning documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and Meera Menon (The Walking Dead, Netflix’s Marvel show The Punisher) to handle directing duties.

The casting confirms that while the pandemic has forced repeated delays for the film branch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s full steam ahead for its Disney+ projects. In the last few weeks alone, Marvel has cast Tatiana Maslany to star in the She-Hulk series, given Samuel L. Jackson his own Nick Fury show, and premiered the first trailer for the long-awaited WandaVision. The latter is set to debut later this year, followed in 2021 by Loki and The Falcon and Winter Soldier. There’s also still work being done on Hawkeye, Moon Knight, and the animated What If…

To watch them all, you’ll have to sign up for Disney+ if you haven’t already.

Editor’s Note: Stay safe by picking up one of our custom face masks. A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Artist Relief fund supporting independent musicians.

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