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'Ms. Marvel' series is MCU meets 'Saved by the Bell' and 'Degrassi,' says Kamala Khan co-creator
Ms. Marvel lands on Disney+ Wednesday, June 8.
Much like Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man), Kamala Khan (aka Ms. Marvel) isn't exactly an expert when it comes to the whole superhero shtick. "It's not like when Captain America throws his shield and it comes back," Sana Amanat — who co-created the fan favorite character — explained to Empire for the magazine's latest issue (now on sale). "She's all over the place. I'm excited for people to get to know her."
Amanat serves as a co-executive producer on Kamala's upcoming Disney+ series, which was first announced at D23 Expo nearly three years ago. "It's a historic moment," she continued, referring to the fact that Ms. Marvel will be the first Muslim hero to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe. "But it's also nerve-wracking. I've given two years to this show; it's been made with a lot of love and a lot of sweat."
A Pakistani-American teenager from Jersey City, Kamala (played by newcomer Iman Vellani) is an avid gamer and fan fiction writer, who sometimes feels like she doesn't belong — both at school and at home. She looks up to Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and the Avengers, often daydreaming about what it would be like to save the world alongside them. Those fantasies become a reality when she gains mysterious cosmic abilities that throw her entire life out of whack. Can she juggle her regular teenage life with that of a noble do-gooder?
"I grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries and watching Saved by The Bell and Degrassi," Amanat said. "I loved coming-of-age stories. It's all about having crushes and self-discovery."
Vellani has a bright future ahead of her, including a role in director Nia DaCosta's Captain Marvel sequel, The Marvels, which arrives in theaters next year. Despite having no credits to her name prior to this show, Vellani turned out to be the perfect casting choice.
"She showed me every corner of her room, and it was covered with Avengers," Amanat recalled with a laugh. "Then she said, 'Oh wait, I'm not done,' opened up her closet, and there was more Marvel everywhere." The up-and-coming actress even provided "a list of feedback on every single Marvel movie. [Marvel Studios President] Kevin Feige is her Carol Danvers."
Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Nakli, Azhar Usman, Travina Springer, and Nimra Bucha co-star.
Bisha K. Ali serves as head writer and executive produces alongside Feige, Louis D’Esposito, and Victoria Alonso. Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy are directors. Trevor Waterson is a co-executive producer with Amanat.