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The fact that the Marvel comics are interpreted and adapted relatively freely in the MCU is actually nothing new, but it still causes discussions and controversies again and again. This is also the case with » Ms. Marvel «, where the title heroine Kamala Khan cannot change her size and body shape as in the template, but has cosmic energy powers at her disposal.
We got the first two episodes “Ms. Marvel» was great , but in an interview with showrunner and head writer Bisha K. Ali and producer and Ms Marvel creator Sana Amanat , we wanted to know exactly: Why were Kamala’s powers changed for the series? Also, we talk about the amazing leading lady Iman Vellani, AvengerCon and the end credits scene.
MOVIE STARTS: There was a lot of talk about her powers being altered long before Ms. Marvel came out. Can you explain again how it came about and what was the reasoning behind it?
Bisha K. Ali: It was definitely a group decision and goes back to the first discussions about an adaptation. How would that look visually? In addition, it also played a role in which direction the story develops, without giving too much away.
I’m always mostly about the character, and I’m not saying that her powers aren’t important to the character. But at «Ms. Marvel”, her powers are just as important to character development, even though they are different. The series is so full of love and respect for the original that I hope fans will give us a chance and see how the story unfolds.
» «Ms. Marvel» at Disney+ *
Sana Amanat: Kevin wanted the entire Ms. Marvel» comic series and allow for a different perspective on her story and that includes her powers. We also wanted her powers to be tied into a larger story in the MCU, much like her powers were back then in the comics. So there are other stories to tell about her powers.
And then there was the cultural heritage and legacy aspect, which is also important in the comics. They picked that up with their powers. She doesn’t get these skills by accident, but because of her background and being who she is.
I understand that some fans are concerned that part of their identity will be lost. But we threw that into how she uses her powers and begins her career as a superhero. She initially tries to be someone else, but she undergoes a transformation as her powers change as well.
2022 Disney+ Original Productions Iman Vellani in «Ms Marvel»
MOVIE STARTS: In my opinion, Iman Vellani is absolutely perfect for Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel. How did she convince you? This is her first role ever…
Bisha K. Ali: It just existed [laughs]. Finding the right actress for Ms. Marvel was very time-consuming because we had very high standards. And then it should be someone of the right age.
If I remember correctly, I had a good feeling about Iman when I watched her application video. And then, during her first test shots, she made sure that Sana and I had tears in our eyes. So it was immediately clear. I could immediately imagine her reciting the dialogues I had written.
Sana Amanat: Looking back, it’s kind of weird that anyone else ever came up with an option. She is just Kamala in so many ways. She had already made a test recording before Corona and then again when we were able to start work again.
And in the meantime, she had gone from weird and quirky to vulnerable and sad, and she had an intensity in her playing that was truly remarkable for someone her age. She looked older than she was. And that was really perfect for Kamala, because even though she’s young and weird and nerdy, she understands the world like an adult and she has a great sense of duty.
She really changed the series and made it all mesh. And she’s such a huge Marvel fan, her whole room is full of Marvel. She is just Kamala.
FILM STARTS: How exactly did she change the show?
Sana Amanat: Kamala can easily feel too young and too cute and Iman brings a few rough edges. And she gave Kamala some convincing quirks: Iman often does finger guns or victory signs when she doesn’t know what to do with her hands, and we adapted that for Kamala.
MOVIE STARTS: One of the highlights in episode 1 is the AvengerCon. How did you find the right balance? Some of the gags are pretty meta with America’s butt and «I can do this all day»…
Bisha K. Ali: How is anyone supposed to know? Exactly [laughs]. The final version of the scene is already very tame compared to the crazy stuff I originally suggested. You are of course absolutely right and there was a lot of back and forth before we found the right balance.
I originally had a replica of the flag scene from the first Captain America in there (see video above) for fans to replicate at the show. And Kamala should do it just as skillfully as Steve did back then. But I couldn’t assert myself with that [laughs]. By the way: I am currently working on Kevin to let me set up a real AvengerCon.
MOVIE STARTS: Great! If there’s a Star Wars Celebration, there should be an AvengerCon…
Bisha K. Ali: Exactly. My draft is in the drawer…
MOVIE STARTS: Even as a huge MCU fan, I have to admit that some movies look a bit flat and flat, but Ms. Marvel» is the complete antithesis to this. Was that a conscious decision?
Bisha K. Ali: That was also a group thing. If you look at the «Ms. «Marvel» comics, you can see that they have a very specific drawing style, the panels are full of details and full of life that tell their own little stories. How do you translate that into a serious series?
That was the idea that drove us, and that’s why the show explodes with color and life, and because it suits her character too. And then with a project of this size, the group work comes into play: I have an idea, then other ideas come along and the director contributes something else. The identity of the series is based on the comics, is implemented by all of us in different ways, and then what you see on the screens comes out.
The post credit scene explained
MOVIE STARTS: «Ms. Marvel» is the first MCU series to feature an end credits scene in the first episode. How did that happen?
Bisha K. Ali: With series, you generally always work from one day to the next, and it was similar here. We shot everything, but you work through editing and post-production over and over again and rearrange it. Where can we put this? Where is it most effective?
The interesting thing about the scene is that we had to use a scene like that because it’s so meta. Kamala is a super fan of the Avengers in the comics, I’m a super fan of the Avengers in the real world and now I can do that in every single episode if I want to. But it also works because it allows us to start both storylines in episode 1: one is personal and intimate and the other is building something bigger in the background just like Kevin Feige has been doing since the beginning.
Sana Amanat: We will continue to play around with it. Kevin was very open about it, there are no rules. It just made sense for us to tell the story of Kamala first and then take a new direction. The scene changed very often, but that was always the case.
FILM STARTS: How has the scene changed? Was Arian Moayed always there as Agent Cleary?
Sana Amanat: We thought he was great in Spider-Man: No Way Home and even though the scene changed he was always right for the role. There’s this connection to Spider-Man. That’s why he was the right choice to tell our story.
Bisha K. Ali: You have to watch the series to see what we could have done differently…
Ms. Marvel Episode 1 will be available to stream on Disney+ on June 8, 2022. Further episodes appear weekly.
Ms Marvel Trailer DF