Due to the Disney+ streaming service not being available in Pakistan yet, the House of Mouse has decided to give the upcoming live-action Ms. Marvel series a theatrical release in said country. Such a move makes sense because of the project featuring strong ties to Pakistan.
According to Variety, the Ms. Marvel series will be showcased theatrically via licensee company HKC Entertainment. With the series consisting of 6 episodes, the theatrical roll-out will include episodes 1 and 2 debuting together on June 16, 2022. Episodes 3 and 4 will follow on July 30, 2022. The final two episodes will premiere come July 14, 2022.
“The series is a wonderful celebration of Pakistani art, culture, and talent as there is such a diverse engagement of Pakistani creatives across the board. We couldn’t have asked for a better Eid gift than this huge announcement,” said Hammad Chaudhry, CEO of HKC Entertainment.
With the major Islamic holiday Eid-al-Adha likely occurring on July 9 or the 10th, the two-episode finale could end up being on the checklist for many across the country as they enjoy Eid celebrations with family and friends.
As for the show itself, it stars Iman Vellani in the titular role of Kamala Khan, Marvel’s first Muslim Pakistani-American superhero. The fictional character debuted in the Marvel Comics Universe back in August of 2013. Her solo comic book was released in February of 2014 and I have been keeping up with her adventures and character development ever since.
The show’s cast also includes Matt Lintz as Kamala’s best friend Bruno Carrelli. Yasmeen Fletcher is Kamal’s other close friend Nakia Bahadir. Laurel Marsden is Zoe Zimmer.
Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, and Saagar Shaikh play Kamala’s mother, father, and older brother respectively.
Pakistani superstars Fawad Khan and Mehwish Hayat are also part of the project. There are rumors that the two will be playing Kamala’s ancestors and will show up during a flashback episode featuring the Partition that led to the creation of Pakistan and India. The flashback is supposed to explain how Kamala got her superpowers in the present.
There are certain concerns in the Ms. Marvel fandom about how the series will handle Kamala’s powerset. A teaser trailer was released back in November of 2021, with certain fans pointing out that Kamala’s body morphing powers have been replaced with an accessory that helps her create energy constructs (similar to DC’s Green Lantern franchise). Let’s see how the narrative handles such change and if it will be embraced by longtime Kamala fans.
Coming to another concern, as far as I can tell, Kamala’s male guidance counselor seems to be a queer character. And Zoe is also a lesbian.
Pakistani cinemas do show queer content if the films are targeted at adults (for example, Cloud Atlas). But with Ms. Marvel skewing a lot younger, it will be interesting to see if the queer content will be censored out or not.
I guess, we will find out soon enough.
Bisha K. Ali is the writer and showrunner with directing duties taken up by Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Adil El Arbi, Billal Fallah, and Meera Menon.
The Ms. Marvel series will debut on Disney+ on June 8, 2022. Kamala Khan will also be seen in the feature film The Marvels (basically Captain Marvel 2) come July 28, 2023.
Are you looking forward to watching the Ms. Marvel series?
Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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