Ms. Marvel Directors Bilall Fallah And Adil El Arbi Reveal How This Show Fits In Their Wheelhouse

The newest Marvel superhero coming to Disney+ is Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), a teenage girl who idolizes Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and wishes she were a superhero herself. The series is based on the wildly popular comic of the same name, and has been a huge step forward in Muslim representation in superhero stories. Morrocan Belgian directing duo Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi are best known for directing the wildly fun (and violent) "Bad Boys for Life," though they also recently debuted their musical war drama "Rebel" at Cannes Film Festival. In a press conference attended by /Film's Jeremy Mathai, the duo tackled questions about the upcoming series and explained exactly how it fits into their wheelhouse, despite being so incredibly different from much of their previous work. 

A story about identity

When asked how they approached the material given how different it was from something like "Bad Boys for Life," the duo were candid in their response:

"After we were editing 'Bad Boys For Life' and we were saying 'what's the next step?' and the next step, it had to be Marvel. It's the biggest in the biz! So we were kind of joking around and saying, 'If we're going to do a Marvel show, it has to be a Muslim character,' not knowing that it existed, actually. And that's how we discovered 'Ms. Marvel' and knew that they were going to do something about it and we fell in love with Kamala Khan, her world, her character. We are Moroccan Belgians, so when we were 15 and 16 we were also looking for our identity and our place in the world and we ... kind of related to that identity crisis of Kamala Khan and then we met the great Kevin Feige and said 'yo, we can not not be part of that,' so that's how we convinced him and he gave us the great opportunity and chance to be part of this amazing project." 

The directors will brings their experiences as young Muslims living in a different country than their ancestors to the screen through Kamala, using their experiences in life as well as in their careers to flesh out her story. The series will be more family-friendly than the other Disney+ Marvel offerings like "Moon Knight" and "Hawkeye," earning a TV-PG rating that means parents don't have to worry too much about their kids checking it out. It will be interesting to see how a directing duo behind such violent and adult cinema can tackle a story that's appropriate for all ages, but they've clearly earned the faith of the cast, crew, and Feige. 

"Ms. Marvel" premieres on June 8, 2022, on Disney+.