Marvel’s Pakistani-American superhero Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, is getting her own show on Disney+, and there’s a lot of speculation out there regarding who could play her. In the past, Never Have I Ever creator Mindy Kaling expressed interest in working on Ms. Marvel, which is now leading many to imagine the Netflix series’ breakout star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in the titular role. However, the actress recently explained the reasons for why she won’t play Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel.
As one of the most anticipated series headed to Disney+, and one of several Marvel TV projects announced last year, the pressure’s on to find an actress who can truly embody Ms. Marvel. Now that Never Have I Ever has introduced Maitreyi Ramakrishnan to a multitude of viewers, many fans online would love to see Ramakrishnan in the role. However, the actress is a big champion of inclusive and accurate casting. So, when asked if she’d be interested in playing Kamala Khan at all, she explained why she wouldn’t be a good fit:
I've seen a couple of posts about that, but honestly, no. Kamala Khan is Pakistani and I'm Tamil. If there was a Tamil superhero, I wouldn't want to see a Pakistani girl playing [her]. I would say, 'Really? You couldn't find anybody who was Tamil?' So why would I want to do that to the Pakistani community? That wouldn't be fair.
All that said, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan isn’t against playing a superhero, but wonders why the conversation should “stop at just Ms. Marvel.” She concedes that there should be a lot more representation in general. That includes non-stereotypical South Asian Disney princesses, which is something that Ramakrishnan has lobbied for on Twitter.
Trust me, I'd love to be a superhero. I love Marvel so much. I could be the daughter of Deadpool or his apprentice or something. Maybe Deadpool adopts a South Asian girl. It would make sense — Ryan Reynolds and I would both make the Canadian jokes.
I’m not personally opposed to this idea. Maitreyi Ramakrishnan thinks it “would make sense” and, if there’s anyone who could go toe-to-toe with Ryan Reynolds’ character, it would be her. It may be a long shot for now, but I can’t deny that it would make for a really exciting movie, especially now that Deadpool 3 is being produced by Disney and Marvel Studios. Your move, Marvel.
Ms. Marvel doesn’t have a scheduled release date yet, but stay tuned to CinemaBlend for updates. In the meantime, you can check out Maitreyi Ramakrishnan’s wonderful debut in Never Have I Ever Season 1, which is currently streaming on Netflix. And be sure to swing by our summer TV premiere schedule for more on what to watch.