The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest hero, Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel, makes her debut on Disney+ Wednesday in the colorful series that bears the heroine’s name.
The character, the first Muslim-American superhero in Marvel Comics, was co-created by Sana Amanat, who also co-created the series. She’s played by 19-year-old newcomer Iman Vellani, who, like the character, is also a Pakistani American — and who was a Ms. Marvel fangirl before she even got the role.
“The parallels are insane,” she tells ABC Audio. “…Kamala getting her powers and me getting this part, are hand in hand. I went on a very similar journey with this character throughout the entire show. And I honestly just put all of my real-life self into her.”
In fact, years before she became Ms. Marvel in the MCU, Iman cosplayed as the character. Also, the show’s first episode shows Marvel fan Kamala cosplaying as Captain Marvel — the superhero played by Brie Larson in the MCU — and the actress with whom Vellani stars in the upcoming big-screen movie The Marvels.
When Vellani got the part, Amanat, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and others told her on a Zoom call that went viral.
Amanat recalls of Vellani, “She pops up…like she’s standing in the middle of a road or something and like spinning the camera because of course, she’s…freaking out, and it was just awesome…I got so emotional. I was crying. I was like, ‘It’s Iman, like, this is such a big moment and historic…’ And just, you know, awesome, awesome, awesome!”
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