'Ms. Marvel' Finds Directors in Pakistani Oscar Winner, 'Bad Boys for Life' Filmmakers (Exclusive)
Disney+'s Marvel series Ms. Marvel has assembled its directing team.
Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, the duo behind this year's Bad Boys for Life, have been tapped to work on episodes of the series. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a two-time Oscar winner in the documentary short category, has also joined the helming roster for the series, as has Meera Menon, whose credits include episodes of The Walking Dead, The Punisher, Titans, Dirty John and Outlander.
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Ms. Marvel hails from head writer Bisha K. Ali and centers on Kamala Khan, a Pakistani American teen. The New Jersey-based hero broke ground in 2014 as Marvel's first Muslim character to star in her own title, and she will become Marvel Studios' first onscreen Muslim hero. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige has said that in addition to appearing on the small screen, Kamala Khan will be included in future Marvel films. The studio is currently in search of an actor to play the hero, whose comics have explored her identity as a Pakistani American living in a religious family in New Jersey while trying to find her own way.
El Arbi and Fallah successfully revived the 25-year-old Bad Boys franchise with January's third installment. The Will Smith and Martin Lawrence starrer earned $425.6 million globally, the highest gross of 2020 so far amid the novel coronavirus pandemic that shuttered theaters globally for months. The duo are also attached to Netflix's Beverly Hills Cop 4, to star Eddie Murphy, as well as the Muslim family drama Rebel. The Direct first reported their involvement with Ms. Marvel.
Obaid-Chinoy is a celebrated documentarian who took home Oscars for 2015's A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, exploring the aftermath of an attempted honor killing in Pakistan, and 2012's Saving Face, which looked at acid attacks on women in Pakistan and made her the first Pakistan-born filmmaker to win an Academy Award. The Pakistani Canadian filmmaker also won Emmys for both projects and has collected a total of six in her career, winning in 2014 for Pakistan's Taliban Generation and in 2010 for work on PBS' Frontline/World.
In addition to TV work on shows such as You and For All Mankind, Menon is known for her 2013 indie road trip comedy Farah Goes Bang, about a young Muslim woman seeking to lose her virginity while campaigning for John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid. She also directed the 2016 Sundance feature Equity.
Ms. Marvel is one of a slew of Marvel Cinematic Universe shows in the works for Disney+. WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, is the first expected to hit the small screen, with Disney confirming this week that it was planned for a 2020 release. The coronavirus-delayed Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which originally was set to bow this year, recently resumed production, while Tom Hiddleston's Loki was partially completed before the coronavirus shut it down.
El Arbi and Fallah are repped by CAA and Management 360. Obaid-Chinoy is repped by CAA and Fox Rothschild LLP. Menon is repped by WME.
by Sharareh Drury, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya