Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Set to Co-direct Ms Marvel, Featuring Pakistani-American Super-hero Kamala Khan

by Asif Ali
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Marvel enthusiasts in the country will be overjoyed to learn that the studio will be launching a brand new live-action series based on its comic-series Ms Marvel, set to be centered around the character of Kamala Khan, the Pakistani-American  teen super-hero that first appeared in 2014, becoming Marvel’s first major Muslim character.

Making this development all the more exciting is that the studio has chosen a team of four acclaimed directors to call the shots on the show – and that includes the much celebrated Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Obaid-Chinoy will be sharing the directorial credits with Adil El-Arbi, Billall Fallah and Meera Menon. Previously, Obaid-Chinoy has co-produced and directed three installments of the Teen Bahadur franchise, based around a trio of kids with superpowers. Given the positive reception those films received from audiences and critics alike, it seems the new Marvel show will be a great fit.

When it comes to breaking new ground for film in Pakistan, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is one woman who has been leading from the front. Recipient of 6 Emmy and 2 Academy awards, her strong visual narratives have broached subjects that highlight social injustices and impel their audience to actively work towards their resolution. Such was the case with A Girl In The River: The Price Of Forgiveness, the Oscar winning documentary on victims of honor killings, which was ultimately viewed by the then prime minister resulting in the legislation of a law against honor killings. In her other Oscar winner Saving Face, she highlighted the trauma and social rejection faced by victims of acid burns. She went on to create the commercially successful Teen Bahadur series, Pakistan’s homegrown super-hero movie franchise. This year, her animated short Sitara: Let Girls Dream has been creating much waves.

For now the studio is keeping a tight wrap around what exactly will be on offer, however, it has been reported that British writer Bisha K. Ali will be scripting the series and also acting as its show runner. Previously, Ali has worked on the Hulu show Four Weddings And A Funeral as well as Netflix’s Sex Education. Given her background as a stand-up comedian and writing light hearted material, it is quite likely that the new Marvel series will have a lighthearted flavor and will be high as far as the entertainment quotient is concerned.

Ms Marvel will be premiered on Disney’s upcoming digital streaming service Disney+ somewhere in 2021, although no official release schedule has been rolled out by the studio. As for the cast, first time Pakistani-Canadian actor Iman Vellani has been hired to play the lead super-heroine Kamala Khan, and it has been reported that the character played by Vellani will also be appearing Captain Marvel 2, the sequel to last year’s box-office smash.

We are keeping our fingers crossed and will keep you updated on this promising new show right here on PakistaniCinema.

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