'Ms. Marvel' Casts Newcomer Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan
Updated: Oct 16, 2020
After a months-long casting search, newcomer Iman Vellani has been cast as Kamala Khan in Marvel Studios' Ms. Marvel!
Vellani joins showrunner Bisha K. Ali and recently announced directors Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and Meera Menon on the groundbreaking Disney+ original series.
Vellani is a Pakistani-Canadian teenager from from Markham, Ontario. Although this will be her first role, she was part of the Next Wave Committee at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, which was assembled to find films that would appeal to a diverse audience of younger moviegoers. Vellani is the third Canadian actor to be cast as a Marvel superhero in the last year, after Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and Tatiana Maslany (She-Hulk). Marvel is no stranger to casting newcomers as their leading heroes - they famously rolled the dice with Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as Thor and Loki, although it's rare for Marvel to cast an actor with no prior acting experience.
Ms. Marvel centers on Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan, whose Inhuman superpowers allow her to shape-shift at will. With her first solo title in 2014, Kamala became Marvel's first Muslim superhero and is one of the company's most popular new additions. Kevin Feige has promised that Kamala will go on to appear in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films, and her rumored appearance in Captain Marvel 2 fits with Kamala's idolization of Carol Danvers and the Avengers.
As an Indian-American, I'm extremely excited to see Kamala Khan enter the MCU! There are very few Pakistani and Indian superheroes, so seeing one brought to life with such attention and care is truly special. I can't wait to see the impact that Black Panther had on African-American communities replicated for new ones, and I'm happy to see the MCU becoming rapidly more diverse in the first two years of Phase Four. What do you think of Iman Vellani's casting? Are you excited to see a Muslim superhero onscreen for the first time? Comment below!
Ms. Marvel will be streaming exclusively on Disney+ (presumably) in late 2021.