- Iman Vellani explains how Kamala’s high expectations of teaming up with her idol, Carol, are shattered when she realizes the reality of heroism and must see her hero as a human in order to work together.
- Kamala’s maturity and emotional intelligence make her the most emotionally mature character among Carol and Monica, allowing her to observe their tensions and bring a new perspective to the team dynamic.
- Kamala’s potential future interactions with the Young Avengers and X-Men are highly anticipated, with numerous possibilities for storylines and relationships that could be explored in the MCU.
In The Marvels, Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, and Monica Rambeau investigate a strange wormhole. However, this space anomaly leads to their powers becoming entangled with Kamala Khan’s, aka Ms. Marvel. The trio is forced to work together to not only control their powers but also stop Carol’s old enemy, the Kree, who are responsible for the wormholes that are causing problems across the galaxy.
The Marvels stars Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Samuel L. Jackson, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, and Saagar Shaikh, with Zawe Ashton and Park Seo-joon also joining the MCU. The movie is the culmination of storylines introduced in Captain Marvel, WandaVision, and Ms. Marvel. The Marvels is directed by Nia DaCosta and co-written by Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik.
Screen Rant interviewed Iman Vellani about The Marvels. She discussed Kamala’s growth after working with Carol and Monica as well as which Young Avengers comic storyline she’d like to see play out in the MCU. Vellani also shared her hopes about adapting her Ms. Marvel comic for a future season of the Disney+ series and which X-Men she wants Kamala to interact with.
Iman Vellani Talks The Marvels
Screen Rant: Oh my gosh. Iman, I think this is the most fun I’ve had at a superhero movie in a while. It is so good.
Iman Vellani: Thank you for saying that.
I love Kamala throughout this whole movie. Can you talk to me a little bit about creating the dynamic between Kamala, Monica, and Carol and working with Brie and Teyonah to do that, especially with how much history each of the characters have with each other?
Iman Vellani: Yeah. I think it is interesting because you have Carol and Kamala’s relationship, you have Carol and Monica, so we just had to figure out how to tie all them together and give them purpose to be there. And I think all three of them definitely have different ideas of what being a hero means in a lot of ways. And so for Kamala, who’s coming off of writing her own fan fiction and fantasizing about teaming up with her idol, and she’s probably heard all these stories of the Avengers, Scott Lang’s book.
She’s so in it, and she’s coming in with such high expectations of what this team-up should be and what it should look like, and so when it doesn’t happen and she’s immediately thrown into meeting her hero and has to now fight, and then Tarnax happens and all these Skrulls are dying in front of her, it’s completely thrown into the deep end and definitely breaks her, bursts her bubble a little bit. So it was interesting to give Kamala a way, it gave her, I think, more gravitas in telling the story, that she wasn’t just the comic relief and she wasn’t just excited over everything. Throughout the course of the film, she has to see her hero as a human just so that they can work together.
And Carol has to see Kamala as an equal team member so that this entire teamwork can actually be something and they can use their powers together. And so it was very interesting to play with that dynamic because their ideas of heroism doesn’t align with each other. So it was fun to create that and realize as I started to learn about Brie and Teyonah more and how they work as actors and how they take care of themselves in between takes and stuff. So as Kamala and as Iman, just learning as much as I could from them. And I think they also learned a lot from me personally.
I love that. Yeah. I remember seeing the movie, I leaned over my friend and said, How is the teenager the most emotionally mature character in this movie?
Iman Vellani: Yeah. It’s like there’s so much tension and history, Carol and Monica, and Kamala is the one observing and being like, wait, these are two grown-ass women and they don’t know what they’re doing. And I think, yeah, Kamala is definitely the most mature and emotionally intelligent out of the three of them.
And then I was beyond excited with that little Young Avengers tease we got at the end. And I know you’re a huge comic book fan, so one of the things I’m curious about, is there a Young Avengers storyline or another one of the Young Avengers you’re really excited to interact with, and what role you see Kamala taking on as part of this team?
Iman Vellani: It’s so unfortunate for me to say, but I don’t read a lot of Young Avengers comics. Honestly, I have more of a Champions bias, but I don’t know. It would be interesting if they did an Iron Lad type thing because that’s still Kang and that feels like it could work. Have Nathaniel Richards be a part of the Young Avengers at some point, and then they realize, oh my God, wait, he’s like a Kang, but is he a good guy or a bad guy? So I feel like dealing with that would be fun in the direction that the MCU is headed.
But I don’t know, I just want to see them interact. I think they’ve left so many of the younger character stories open-ended, and to see fans start shipping people together, it would be something like, I want to see Kamala interact with America. I want to see Kamala interact with Patriot, I don’t know. Just all these random people. And so yeah, I think there’s so many different avenues you could take with this.
I think one of my favorite things about the younger heroes is that this is a generation that’s lived through the trauma of the Avengers. They understand the global threat in a way that I think the original heroes didn’t, and they are, for the most part, choosing to be a part of it. How do you want to see them stand out from the original Avenger team?
Iman Vellani: That’s a really great question. I think you’re right. They have perspectives that the older Avengers don’t, especially because they’ve had to deal with the repercussions, but they’re also a fan of the older Avengers. So I think they can really make this team-up something new. I think it’ll be way more functional than the Avengers even were. I think Kamala being in charge might also set the tone in a really wonderful way. I think she’s a natural-born leader.
She is not only the glue of the Marvels, but could be the glue of the younger Avengers group because she is mature and she is intelligent, and she also has all this knowledge about being superheroes and teamwork and how to do it in a way that’s ideal and works for everyone. And she’s probably learned so much from being on the Marvels, so she can bring that into the Young Avengers. But yeah, I think they’ll definitely be a group that a lot of the younger audiences can resonate to and relate to way more. I think their opinions on social justice issues, I think their opinions on just the world in general and is what’s needed is way more important.
They feel like the group that will understand humanity and the value of human life way more than I think the older group does because they’re in it, right? They have relationships there. They’re in school, they have their friends, they have their idols and their mentors. And I think all of those relationships will ground this group way more than we have mentors who’s a billionaire, and you got a guy who was frozen from the 1940s. So they’re definitely way more aware of reality. Yeah.
Oh, I love that. And then I got to ask about mutants and X-Men and everything, because literally all of my friends will annihilate me if I don’t. So I know you’ve read a lot of the X-Men comics, and you watched the animated series. Is there a storyline or a specific X-Men that you want to see Kamala be a part of or interact with?
Iman Vellani: Oh my God, there’s so many. I love Kamala’s relationships with older superheroes because it feels like she just has so many mom and dad superheroes. In the comic that I’m writing right now, I have her interacting with Emma Frost a lot, and I thought that was such a wonderful relationship because in Grant Morrison’s run, Emma is such a maternal figure and in a lot of ways, she really cares about the children, but she’s so cutthroat, and I love that she doesn’t sugarcoat anything for Kamala.
She would be straight up, no BS telling her how things are, but then still stroke her hair and take her shopping and do all that. And I love to see her having a relationship like that. That would be cool. I always say Wolverine because their interaction in the comics made me very happy. Gosh. Angel, Jubilee, all the younger people. I think there’s so many to choose from, honestly. It’s impossible. Lila Cheney, imagine if she interacted with Lila. And Lila’s music is probably well-known, and Kamala is definitely a fan of hers, so that would be pretty cool to see Kamala freak out over her and then get teleported away. That’d be fun. Yeah.
Speaking of your comic, is that a storyline you’d like to see adapted if we get another season of Ms. Marvel-
Iman Vellani: Yes!
…and how would you want to see that play out on television?
Iman Vellani: It would be the coolest thing in the world if my comic ever got adapted. But you know what? It’s been set up. It’s part of the source material now, so if they ever do need a record, I think also, most Marvel Comics have only existed for ten-ish years, so we’re going to run out of comic storylines pretty quickly, and they’ll have to get to mine eventually, right?
It feels like they set it up, too.
Iman Vellani: I think so. My comic also deals with her being a mutant in the public eye, so I think it’s becoming more and more relevant. I’ll just say that. It would be very cool. I need to start slipping notes under Kevin’s door.
Just another page of suggestions.
Iman Vellani: Yeah. Like if you do adapt it, make me producer, and I’ll help you figure this thing out.
I love it. And then what are you excited to explore with Kamala in the future that you maybe haven’t been able to really dig into with Ms. Marvel season one or The Marvels?
Iman Vellani: I think it would be that leadership aspect of hers. I think she is a very grounded character and she knows how to lead a team, and I want to be able to play more into that. I want to see her mature even more, see what she’s learned out of working with Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau and what she’s taken out of that group, and how she can apply her findings to a Young Avengers group, or even just her senior year of high school or going into college.
I want her to explore the verge of adulthood a little more. So yeah, that would be my hopes for a potential season 2. Just age her up a little bit and have her deal with a lot of more new experiences. Boy trouble and prom and all that. I miss her Jersey City squad so much.
Yeah. I loved the first season of Ms. Marvel. It was one of the more innovative Disney+ shows, so I was immediately hooked into it. So I want more.
Iman Vellani: Hopefully.
And then how do you think Kamala stacked up against her first Avengers-level threat in The Marvels?
Iman Vellani: I think she did pretty great. I think despite being the youngest one in the group, she’s not afraid to make the tough calls, and she’s not afraid to speak up and give her opinion. And even if she’s not being treated like an equal part of the group, she will be placing her foot in between the two of them, so I’m honestly very proud of her.
I think she held her own and proved herself greatly in front of her idol, which could not have been easy to swallow that pill and realize that, okay, we’re going to be equals now, and she has to learn a thing or two from me about leadership and about teamwork. So yeah, I think it was a really wonderful experience for her.
I loved it. I just want more Kamala. That’s all I want. Put her in every project. She’s, I think, one of the best things to happen to the MCU.
Iman Vellani: I agree. Yeah. I would love to be the new Wong of the MCU who just pops up in the most random places.
About The Marvels
Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has reclaimed her identity from the tyrannical Kree and taken revenge on the Supreme Intelligence. But unintended consequences see Carol shouldering the burden of a destabilized universe.
Check out our other The Marvels interviews here:
The Marvels is in theaters now.
- Release Date:
- Nia DaCosta
- Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Zawe Ashton, Gary Lewis, Park Seo-joon, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Saagar Shaikh, Samuel L. Jackson
- 105 Minutes
- Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Superhero
- Nia DaCosta, Zeb Wells, Elissa Karasik
- $274.8 Million
- Captain Marvel
- Marvel Cinematic Universe