In 2018, Marvel Studio president Kevin Feige announced that their first Muslim superhero, Kamala Khan, who goes by the pseudonym Ms. Marvel would soon take on a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And according to Deadline, a new Disney+ series is in the works, and Pakistani-Canadian actress Iman Vellani will play the role of Ms. Marvel.
As Kamala Khan, Villani plays a 16-year-old teenager from New Jersey with both shapeshifting and super-healing powers. As a character, Khan became Marvel’s first Muslim character in 2014. In her new role, Vellani will make history as Marvel Studio’s first onscreen Muslim superhero.
According to Feige, Kamala Khan will also be included in future Marvel Cinematic Universe films, which have historically been dominated by chiefly white male actors. But in recent years, the Marvel Universe has taken a more diverse turn, most notably with the release of ‘Black Panther’ in 2018, which went on to achieve immense global box office success.
“I just saw they cast Ms. Marvel and legit got teary eyed. Congratulations Iman Vellani! Your work is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included. I can’t wait,” commented ‘Silicon Valley’ actor Kumail Nanjaini, who is also part of MCU. Indian-American actress and comedian Mindy Kaling also took to Twitter to congratulate Villani, noting the importance of representation.
“What a joy in these trying times to see that #MsMarvel (a Pakistani American teen superhero!) has cast its lead role, a young actress named Iman Vellani! Congrats to you! I can’t wait to see the show! #RepresentationMatters”.