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Ms. Marvel: Pakistani Oscar Winner Joins Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah To Direct Disney+ Show

Update: The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Pakistani Oscar Winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Indian-American director Meera Menon have joined the roster of Ms. Marvel alongside Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah.

After Avengers: Endgame, the MCU is expanding new horizons. After years of dominating the box-office, Marvel Studios has now been focusing on the television industry, especially after the release of Disney+ streaming platform.

In SDCC 2019, Marvel Studios had announced its plans for numerous TV shows which will be linked to the gigantic MCU. The initial plans for the shows include LokiThe Falcon and the Winter SoldierWandaVisionShe-HulkMoon KnightHawkeyeWhat If…?, and Ms. Marvel.

Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios has confirmed that these shows will play a vital role in paving the path for the future of the MCU. WandaVision will be linked to the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, followed by Loki which might play a vital role for Thor: Love and Thunder.

In 2019, Marvel Studios released Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel. Earning over $1 billion in the box-office, Captain Marvel was a massive success. Brie Larson returned as the Human-Kree warrior to turn the tide against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.

Having displayed her immense powers, Carol Danvers will be leading the remaining Avengers against extra-terrestrial threats in future movies. After the staggering success of Captain Marvel, Brie Larson has stated her interest to include another interesting character in the sequel; Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel.

Also see: Candyman‘s Nia DaCosta to direct Captain Marvel 2

In 2019, Kevin Feige confirmed that he had plans to introduce Kamala Khan on the big screen in future movies. However, before introducing the young superhero on the silver screen, it seems to be a better idea to give her a proper foundation on Disney+ before her big-screen debut.

As Marvel Studios is aggressively expanding its plans for Disney+ shows, it has finally brought the director duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah on board for Ms. Marvel. According to The Direct, having directed Bad Boys For Life earlier this year, the director duo can put a refreshing take on the beloved teenage superhero.

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah To Direct Ms. Marvel

Joining the enigmatic director duo, Pakistani Oscar Winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is the latest entrant to work on the episodes of Ms. Marvel. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has won two Academy Awards in the documentary short category. For Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2016), Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy became the first female director to win two Academy Awards before the age of 37. She had also won an Emmy Award for Pakistan’s Taliban Generation in 2007.

Joining the roster alongside Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Adil El Arbi, and Bilall Fallah would be Indian-American director Meera Menon. The prolific director has previously directed episodes of critically acclaimed television shows like Outlander, The Man in the High CastleThe PunisherThe Walking Dead, Titans, and Netflix’s one of the most-watched shows, You.

Making her first debut in 2014, Kamala Khan is the fourth character to take the mantle of Ms. Marvel. Having idolized Carol Danvers since her childhood, Kamala Khan became the first Muslim superhero.

Kamala Khan is of Pakistani-American heritage residing in Jersey City, New Jersey. In the Inhumanity story arc, Kamala Khan was one of the many civilians who were exposed to the Terrigen Mist. As a result, her latent superhuman gene was kickstarted, giving her shapeshifting abilities alongside elasticity, healing factor, and polymorphism.

Having idolized Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan took the mantle of Ms. Marvel once Carol Danvers shifted to using the iconic Captain Marvel alias. Created by Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and Jamie McKelvie, Kamala Khan was a bold and revolutionizing icon to represent American Muslims in the superhero genre.

The cultural impact of Kamala Khan was unprecedented as Ms. Marvel #1 won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story upon its release. It was also nominated for Eisner Award on multiple fronts including Best Writer, Best New Series, Best Penciller, and a few other categories. The comic-book also won the prestigious Joe Shuster Award, cementing its legacy for years to come.

Ms. Marvel

Also see: Marvel’s Eternals To Feature Manga and Bollywood Dancing!

An icon for the Indian Subcontinent diaspora residing in the United States, Kamala Khan’s identity plays a major role in representing Brown characters. Instead of making her based out of Manhattan like most superheroes, Kamala Khan is based out of New Jersey, which brings a fresh approach towards introducing a new superhero.

Getting directors Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a smart move as the Muslim and South-Asian directors can explore Kamala Khan’s Islamic and Pakistani heritage, instead of putting it through a white person’s perspective. Though Kamala Khan’s heritage does play a major role, she is not defined just by her identity, which makes her such an interesting character to explore.

Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel

Avoiding the run-of-the-mill overly-sexualized female characters, Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel is much more focused on the legacy of Carol Danvers while maintaining her cultural heritage in her superhero career.

As a teenage superhero, Kamala Khan’s story is quite relatable as she does not just face supervillains, but also the issues arising due to her faith. Born to a conservative Muslim family, Kamala Khan is a story of female emancipation as she struggles with her faith, adolescence, and a few powerful supervillains simultaneously.

Ms. Marvel is set to release somewhere in 2022 on the Disney+ streaming platform. As a resurgence of female protagonists in the superhero genre is gaining widespread acclaim, Ms. Marvel will be the latest addition to the legacy of Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, and Black Widow.

Written by Akash Senapati

Akash is an India-based writer who has previously worked with Quirkybyte and Xtrascoop. He loves DC Comics, Anime, Pink Floyd, and sleeping in no particular order. His favourite graphic-medium writers are Grant Morrison, Chris Claremont, Christopher Priest, Garth Ennis, and Eiichiro Oda. Prep time > Aliens.

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