Canadian actress Iman Vellani is set to portray Kamla Khan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe web television series Ms. Marvel on Disney+. The character was also voiced by Sandra Saad in the 2020 action-adventure video game Marvel’s Avengers.
About Iman Vellani: Iman Vellani was born in 2001/2002 and is a Canadian actress from Markham, Ontario. In September 2020, Vellani was cast as Ms. Marvel in the upcoming Disney+ television series of the same name, marking her onscreen debut. Born to Muslim immigrants from Pakistan. Iman Vellani graduated from Unionville High School in the Regional Municipality of York. Before being cast in Ms. Marvel, Vellani was selected as a member of the TIFF Next Wave Committee at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
After a long and hard search, Marvel has found its Ms. Marvel. The studio is tapping newcomer Iman Vellani to star in its Disney+ series based on the comic-book character. Marvel and the streamer recently named Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Meera Menon as directors on the project.
Ms. Marvel hails from writer Bisha K. Ali and centers on Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teen based in New Jersey
Iman Vellani is a relatively unknown actress, with Ms. Marvel being her first mainstream blockbuster production that she will be a part of. There is some information on Vellani though that provides a bit of insight into what fans can expect from the MCU newcomer.
The MCU’s Ms. Marvel Iman Vellani is Canadian and between 18-19 years old. According to The Hollywood Reporter writer Borys Kit, Marvel Studios has been testing actresses this summer and came to the decision of going with Vellani between late August and early September.
Last year, Iman Vellani was announced to be one of twelve members on the Next Wave Committee for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The Next Wave Committee is a group of students comprised of young film enthusiasts who go on to make selections for films that are a part of the festival.
As part of this, Vellani spoke with CBC about her pick for best film at TIFF, choosing the film Hala. The film follows Muslim teenager Hala as she straddles between two cultures. Hala has to walk the line between her Muslim faith and Western values that live outside of this culture, which sounds eerily similar to themes tackled in the Ms. Marvel comics. On Hala, Vellani mentioned that she “was really able to relate” to the film:
“I think the one that actually just spoke to me the most was this little film called Hala, and it was just beautiful the way that Minhal Baig, the director, projected her entire life story into this charming character of Hala who is this Pakistani-American-Muslim teenager with immigrant parents, actually just like myself, so I was really able to relate a lot to this film.”
About Kamala Khan: This is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by editors Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker, writer G. Willow Wilson, and artists Adrian Alphona and Jamie McKelvie, Khan is Marvel’s first Muslim character to headline her own comic book. Khan made her first appearance in Captain Marvel #14 (August 2013) before going on to star in the solo series Ms. Marvel, which debuted in February 2014. Within the Marvel Universe, Khan is a teenage Pakistani American from Jersey City, New Jersey with shapeshifting abilities who discovers that she has Inhuman genes in the aftermath of the “Inhumanity” storyline and assumes the mantle of Ms. Marvel from her idol Carol Danvers after Danvers becomes Captain Marvel. Marvel’s announcement that a Muslim character would headline a comic book was met with widespread reaction and the first volume of Ms. Marvel won the Hugo Award for best graphic story in 2015.