Disney+ has announced their casting choice for the role of Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel for its highly anticipated titular live-action series that’s based on the comic book character. Starring in the role of Kamala is teenage actress Iman Vellani, who will be debuting her talents as an actress on this show.
Ms. Marvel first appeared in 2014 and quickly gained a strong fanbase with readers who identified with Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager based in New Jersey who’s just trying to find her place in the world.
But just who is newcomer actress Iman Vellani, and will she be up to portraying Kamala, an iconic and much-loved character?
Who is 'Ms. Marvel’s star, Iman Vellani?
There have been many young actresses vying for the part of Ms. Marvel in the upcoming Disney+ series, leading fans to speculate about the official choice for Marvel’s first Muslim superhero. But instead of choosing a familiar face, the show’s creators have cast newcomer Iman Vellani, who is so fresh to Hollywood, she doesn’t even have an IMDb page yet.
Being cast as Kamala Khan is no doubt the chance of a lifetime for the Toronto teen, and even though Iman doesn’t have any known acting experience yet, one of the authors of the original comic book, G. Willow Wilson, described her as “the real deal.” The series doesn’t have an official release date yet, but people are anticipating that it will be released sometime during the latter half of 2021.
Ms. Marvel was Marvel’s first Muslim character to headline her own comic book and Iman will be playing Marvel’s first-ever on-screen Muslim superhero. In addition to appearing in the Disney+ series, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has said that Kamala will also be included in upcoming Marvel films.
Ms. Marvel is her first acting gig but this isn’t Iman’s first brush with Hollywood.
While Iman may be a newcomer to Hollywood, she already has ties to “the industry.” At 2019’s Toronto Film Festival, she was part of the Next Wave Committee, a group of 15- to 18-year-olds who were responsible for adding special tags to films in the festival’s roster, in order to attract their peers.
“I think that's really important because then people are going to understand each other,” Iman said. “Even if they can't relate to it, you learn from it … Our big goal is to just help people understand other perspectives.”
Iman chose to add her stamp of approval to the movie Hala, directed by Minhal Baig. She said that she identified with the main character Hala, who is a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager struggling with issues of identity. "I think [it]'s a really important film to see when you want to take a good look at a young member of society who's just trying to fit in to the best of both worlds,” Iman explained about the film.
It sounds like young Iman is primed for the part of Kamala Khan already. We wish her all the very best with this new endeavor and are very excited to see the series once it's released.