Ms. Marvel Was Directly Inspired By Scott Pilgrim, John Hughes, And 10 Things I Hate About You [Exclusive]

Nine years after her comic book debut in 2013's "Captain Marvel" #14, the delightful teen superhero Kamala Khan is officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The live-action "Ms. Marvel" series follows the Avengers uber-nerd and self-declared "Brown girl from Jersey City" as she deals with the day-to-day struggles of being a high schooler, while also diving head-first into her new career as a costumed crime-fighter after suddenly gaining superpowers.

Newcomer Iman Vellani stars as the titular character and has already proven herself to be perfect for the role, even going so far as to challenge Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige on his MCU knowledge (just like Kamala Khan would, were she an actual person). Head writer Bisha K. Ali ("Loki") and directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah ("Bad Boys for Life") are likewise earning top marks for their efforts on "Ms. Marvel." In her own review, /Film's Hoai-Tran Bui praises the show's "particular alchemy of elements, [which include] Kamala's Peter Parker-like relatability, her authentic cultural background, El Arbi and Fallah's vibrant directorial style, and the frankly adorable teen escapades."

"Ms. Marvel" quickly establishes its unique voice with its first episode, blending live-action and animation with rapid-fire edits and other visual flourishes (split screens, whip-pans) in a style that recalls Edgar Wright's 2010 cult comic book flick "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World." Far from a happy accident, Ali told us that Wright's film was "certainly" one of the show's direct influences, along with the 2017 MCU movie "Spider-Man: Homecoming," John Hughes' 1980s high school comedies, and the 1999 teen comedy classic "10 Things I Hate About You."

All hail the king of Bollywood

For as much as "Ms. Marvel" speaks directly to Gen Z viewers with its references and heightened style, it also draws inspiration from the older films that Bisha K. Ali and other Millennials were raised on. Ali elaborated on this in her interview with /Film's Jeremy Mathai, citing the influence of Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan, aka the "King of Bollywood:"

"And then, I think some of the other influences, like the Shah Rukh Khan of it all, that people are talking about. I'm obsessed with Shah Rukh Khan [laughs]. I was torturing our writers like every single lunch break ... I would make them watch the 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' video, him dancing on a train in this red bomber jacket. And then, I think, Jenna Berger, one of our producers, bought me that bomber jacket [laughs], the Shah Rukh Khan bomber jacket for Christmas. So, obsession is real."

Ali added that her and her collaborators' goal was to then blend these various inspirations together into a cohesive whole:

"And so there's so many of those different influences and elements we wanted to weave into the show, and I think we just did it. I think everybody all together got behind this huge melting pot of things that we wanted to include. And yeah, [Kamala Khan co-creator Sana Amanat] really pulled it all together for us."

Judging by the reactions so far, most people would agree that Ali and her team succeeded with flying colors. You can judge for yourself by checking out the first episode of "Ms. Marvel" now streaming on Disney+ (with future episodes dropping on Wednesdays).