Ms. Marvel director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy discusses bringing together Pakistani and Indian performers and crew to recreate South Asian history.
“Working on Ms. Marvel was like working at the United Nations.”
Ms. Marvel is the most recent MCU series to air on Disney+, but it’s also part of something broader that impacts more than just Marvel fandom. Not only is Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) the first Pakistani Muslim superhero to be the part of MCU, but her narrative also offers Western viewers a unique opportunity to learn about South Asian history.
In a recent interview, Obaid-Chinoy discussed what it meant to her to be a means of bringing the tragic history to life in Ms. Marvel, how actors and staff members from various cultural backgrounds worked together.
She stated that she collaborated with Sana Amanat to ensure that they cast some of South Asia’s leading celebrities as the characters.
“We have some really powerful women who are playing these big roles, and these hot [topic] men that we’ve pulled from South Asia to play these characters. I think it’s so important when you are telling a story that you bring actors who bring experiences to that character.”
She went on to say that this is the first time Indian and Pakistani actors had worked together on a superhero series. “It’s also the first time that we’re bringing Indian and Pakistani actors to work together on the superhero series. You have this diverse crew that is working together, and Marvel has drawn the crew from around the world. They’re not only bringing actors, but they’re bringing people from behind the camera as well, who can lend themselves to that storytelling.”
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy also stated that working on Ms. Marvel was similar to working at the UN, since everyone gathered from various parts of the world and brought with them all of their great experiences. “I will say that anyone who worked on this Marvel will tell you that sets are not like that and experiences in filmmaking are not like that. We have been part of something truly historical and special.”
Every Wednesday, new episodes of Ms. Marvel are released on Disney+.