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Ms. Marvel Head Writer Bisha K. Ali On Learning About The Finale’s Massive Reveal And Whether She’d Like To Build On It Herself

Iman Vellani on Ms. Marvel
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Massive spoilers for the season finale of Ms. Marvel, “No Normal,” lie ahead, so read on at your own risk!

The season finale of Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel has come and gone, but fans are still buzzing about it. The eventful episode saw Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan finally solidify herself as a superhero by taking on the shady Damage Control. She also risked her life to save the newly super-powered Kamran. Of course, many are also still reeling from the game-changing reveal that was dropped within the last few minutes. But what was it like for the show’s head writer, Bisha K. Ali, and her team to learn about it for themselves? Well, the producer has shed some light on that as well as whether she’d personally be interested in building on that aspect of Kamala’s journey. 

In the closing moments of Ms. Marvel’s sixth episode, the teenage heroine met up with friends Nakia and Bruno for a night out. The latter then proceeded to tell Kamala that while doing some research for her older brother, Aamir, he discovered something about her physiology. Interestingly, her DNA differs from that of her relatives, due to what Bruno refers to as a “mutation.” That term alone was enough to get fans excited, but many probably lost it when a snippet of the classic X-Men theme song played during that moment. (Funny enough, one of Iman Vellani’s favorite Kamala moments involves Wolverine.)

Bisha K. Ali teased this major reveal when we spoke during the Disney+ show’s junket – where she also talked about preparing Kamala Khan for The Marvels. Since the finale, she’s explained that the idea of Khan being a mutant wasn’t something that she and her team had planned from the beginning. So when I chatted with her about the show post-finale, I was curious as to when the creative decision came into play and who delivered it. I mean, would Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige (who had notes on the development) reveal such a thing personally? As it turns out, that wasn’t the case but, as Ali divulged, she learned of the reveal from another person, one who knows the character quite well:

You know, Sana [Amanat] really was our executive [producer] on this show, and she kind of came in kind of after our scripts had been written… kind of well, the first, kind of ‘Yes, this is what the show is’ scripts had been written. And she was such a great creative partner after that point. And I'm so glad we had her, and she was really the communication vessel for us for those things.

It’s fitting that the writer/producer would get the news from EP Sana Amanat, as she co-created the Ms. Marvel character in 2013. Per the head writer, Amanat served as a nice conduit between the folks working on the show and the higher-ups at the studio. The mutant development was definitely a surprise for her, especially since she wasn’t too focused on the larger things going on in the cinematic universe: 

For me, it always comes back to, what’s this character going through? And I'm so like, hyper-focused on Kamala's arc and how we build it out. And the kind of connectivity with those [larger MCU] pieces and things that are kind of, frankly, above my paygrade, those things come from on high and change as you go along. So yeah, that's really down to the team over there [at Marvel Studios] and kind of happened to help us out with where we were at with our process. But it really was as much of a joyful surprise for me to discover that we get to do this as it was for anybody else.

The huge finale reveal surely could (and should) change the MCU going into Phase 5. It also solidifies the notion that Kamala Khan’s role will grow even after her appearance in the Captain Marvel sequel next year. But should the character eventually fall in with the X-Men and other mutants, it’s only natural to wonder if Bisha K. Ali would be interested in tackling said project. When I asked her about that, she provided some honest thoughts on the prospect while reflecting on her Marvel journey:

For me, when I think about my time at Marvel, the last two shows and what an incredible experience it’s been for me Bisha, as an individual. … What a chapter of my life this has been personally as a creative and as someone who kind of loves this world. But with Kamala’s story in particular, it was so specific and felt so personal to me, the journey that she goes on, and it's a complete story, like getting her from where she started to the end. That's a really complete story for me, personally. I don't mean kind of, necessarily in the MCU. I have no idea what happens to her in the MCU. So for me, I feel like that was my heart. When viewers are watching this, they’re really viewing my heart in some ways, and I'm someone who[‘s] kind of like, ‘Okay, I've wrapped that up in a bow, and that's what I wanted to create.’ … That was the story that was burning in me. And for me going forward, I think that maybe it's time for me to move on.

Aside from this show, the writer/producer also worked on Loki as a writer and story editor so, over the past few years, she’s been steeped in the world of superheroes. One can understand why she’d be ready to move on to other things. While discussing the topic, she went on to explain what she would love to see happen behind the scenes:

Like, would I love to be involved in some way, in some capacity? Sure, certainly. But in terms of being a head writer again for a Kamala story … I don't know if that's something that I'm like [eager to do], I mean my answer could change next week, who knows? [Laughs] But right now, I think the other thing that's so exciting about the show, both in terms of the process and in terms of the story and the characters, it's so much about community, and behind the scenes, a community of incredible creatives and artists came together to make the show, and I would be so excited to see what any one of those creatives would do with her story going forward into the future. So for me, I think it's really time to pass on [the baton]. This is the story I wanted to tell, 100%, and I think that's it for me, I think.

Better to go out on top, right? I’m sure the company can find some other talented creatives to expand upon Kamala’s mutant heritage. (Series directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah actually pitched X-Men as a potential Marvel gig for themselves.) Nevertheless, because of her strong work on the show, I’d love to see Bisha K. Ali return to Marvel Studios at some point down the road.

Every episode of Ms. Marvel is now streaming (opens in new tab), so be sure you grab a Disney+ subscription so that you can check out the show.

Erik Swann
Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.