Its been a busy week for Marvel Studios and their Disney+ venture.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has tapped Bad Boys for Life directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to helm the upcoming Ms. Marvel series on the Disney streaming platform. Based on the Kamala Khan character created by Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, G. Willow Wilson, and Adrian Alphona, the series will see the Marvel Cinematic Universe debut of the teen-aged Pakistani-American who happens to be an Avengers superfan and suddenly discovers she has powers all her own.
Rounding out the directors list are documentary short Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Meera Menon, a veteran of Marvel Television’s The Punisher and former DC Universe Original Titans. Bisha K. Ali serves as head writer and showrunner.
Though Kamala’s eventual MCU debut has been bandied about for years, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed a Ms. Marvel series at the D23 Expo in August of 2019. “You will meet her in Disney+ series and see her in our films,” he said at the time. Though expected to be part of the MCU’s Phase 5, the sudden staffing of both Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk suggests one or both of the series will replace Hawkeye in the Phase 4 schedule.
Assembling a predominately Pakistani and Muslim creative team is definitely advantageous for Marvel. Kamala’s presence as a prominent superhero from those ethnic and religious roots not only illustrates a desire for inclusion and diversity, but also leads to very specific dramatic stakes for the character as she balances her upbringing with assimilation into the Marvel way of life. Finding writers and directors who are sensitive to those unique stakes is as important to the storytelling as finding talent with the chops to successfully launch Kamala into a live action franchise.
Next up: casting Ms. Marvel. But that news may come quicker than can be believed. Just yesterday, Tatiana Maslany was tapped to play She-Hulk Jennifer Walters just days after word broke about Marvel hiring Kat Coiro to direct the pilot. Presumably, Marvel may already have their live-action Kamala in mind.
Ms. Marvel is currently unscheduled, but may appear on Disney+ in 2022.