‘The Marvels’ Star Iman Vellani Says The Key To Saving The MCU Is Good Writing, Not Bigger Stakes: “It’s Just About Making The Audience Care About Their Characters”
According to The Marvels star Iman Vellani, the only way for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to regain the level of widespread hype it once enjoyed is for the franchise to stop constantly attempting to raise the stakes with bigger and badder threats and instead return to more character-focused stories.
Seemingly the last person in the entire cinematic endeavor who still genuinely cares for its material, Vellani offered her thoughts on the currently abysmal state of the MCU during an exclusive November 2023 interview given to The Direct’s Russ Milheim.
Asked by Milheim if she had any ideas as to how the franchise could recapture the beloved cultural status it held during the Avengers: Endgame era, Vellani asserted, “I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s about just getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Because then, like, what’s left?”
“You know, I think it’s just about making the audience care about their characters,” said the Ms. Marvel star. “And I think they’ve established so many wonderful characters in the last phase of the MCU that it would be nice to see them all again and see them team up.”
To this end, Vellani then opined, “I think, because there are so many new characters people want to like, start [non-romantically] shipping people together and be like, ‘Oh, seeing Kamala and like the Red Guardian together.’ Like imagining all these pair-ups, and I think that would definitely pay off. It’ll be like, you know, the next Avengers.”
Interestingly, following a small diversion into discussing Kamala Khan’s franchise future, Vellani would eventually claim that despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary – among the most notable of which came from former Thor series director Taika Waititi – everyone at Marvel Studios was a genuine fan of the material they were working with.
Asked how her perspective on the MCU has changed since making the leap from ‘franchise fan’ to ‘franchise star’, Vellani recalled, “That is—I mean, I’m definitely changed. I can’t watch these movies or shows the same way. It’s just like, I know when things are green screen now, I know when, like, how they film certain fight scenes and stuff.”
However, more than anything, the actress affirmed that her biggest outlook shift came from “watching like real people work on these movies and seeing all the effort and manpower that goes into making a movie like this,” as “it just humanized the films for me so much more.”
“They have so much to offer beyond the amazing storytelling,” Vellani added, offering praise to the same studio that has admitted to explicitly seeking non-fans to handle their adaptations and produced the entirety of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law just to take a swing at fans unhappy with the recent quality spiral of the MCU. “Every single person that works at Marvel Studios is genuinely a fan and so in love with their craft and in love with their job. And I think that dedication to their work is what makes a good, if not great, movie. So I’ve gotten to meet a lot of really cool people.”
At current, Marvel Studios has yet to announce any future plans for Vellani’s incarnation of Kamala Khan.
Meanwhile, the final issue of Vellani’s first Marvel Comics outing, Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant Vol. 1 #4, hits stands tomorrow, November 29th.