Marvel has finally chosen an actress to play its first Muslim superhero: newcomer Iman Vellani.
Vellani will star in Disney+’s adaption of the comic book story of “Ms. Marvel,” a Pakistani-American teen from New Jersey, Deadline reported. The character first appeared in 2014, becoming Marvel’s first Muslim character with her own title. The television series adaption will mark the screen debut of the hero.
“In the comics, Kamala is a teenage girl who learns that she has polymorphing powers, allowing her to ’embiggen’ or shrink any parts of her body,” summarized ComicBook.com. “Inspired by Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, Kamala uses her powers to protect her hometown of Jersey City, and eventually joins the Avengers.”
Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Meera Menon have been chosen to direct, wrote Deadline.
Vellani was previously part of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival’s Next Wave Committee, where she helped add tags to the films she thought her peers would like the most.
“Introducing Ms. Marvel,” tweeted the film fest. “Sending [love] and congratulations to #TIFFNextWave alum Iman Vellani, who will star as Kamala Khan and the titular superhero.”
Vellani also received accolades from “The Big Sick” and “Silicon Valley” star Kumail Nanjiani.
“I just saw they cast Ms. Marvel and legit got teary eyed,” tweeted the 42-year-old actor. “Congratulations Iman Vellani! Your work is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included. I can’t wait.”
The civil rights organization Muslim Advocates also reacted, tweeting, “JUST IN: We’re so ready for Iman Vellani to be the first of *many* onscreen Muslim heroes.”