Allow us to introduce Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel – Marvel Comics’ first Muslim character to headline her very own comic book - and now, by the sound of things, her very own film too.
Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige revealed last week, “Ms. Marvel... the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel, is definitely sort of in the works. We have plans for that once we introduce Captain Marvel.” Cue actor Riz Ahmed tweeting at The Mindy Project's Mindy Kaling and The Big Sick's Kumail Nanjiani suggesting they all write the screenplay together.
Ms Marvel is the brainchild of Sana Amanat, dubbed “a real-life superhero” by Barack Obama himself. We spoke to the Pakistani-American Director of Content Development when she was in town last year for Emirates’ Festival of Literature, bringing with her a boundary-breaking mission statement for female superheroes, diversity in the arts, and the need for more positive role models.
“We now have 23 female-led titles in production. We had zero five years ago,” Sana told us proudly. “Until recently, the media didn’t offer many characters who gave fair, varied representations of the world we live in today. In this day and age, it’s so important to push positive at all times. Diversity is key.”
Growing up in New Jersey, Sana cites her experiences as often feeling “other”, as shaping Ms. Marvel. “The idea behind her is that anyone can be a hero – no matter what your background is. Everybody has the ability to be great in some way. I want her to break stereotypes, educate people and be a role model. I’ve had so many moments when I’ve met young girls wearing homemade Ms. Marvel costumes – people are emotional about her, and I become emotional about their responses.” Girl power at its finest.