Friday, July 3, 2020

Pakistani-American Actor Kumail Nanjiani to Star in Marvel's New Movie

Karachi-born Pakistani-American actor Kumail Nanjiani plays Kingo,  one of the title characters in "The Eternals", Marvel's new movie scheduled for release in 2021. Kingo is a 16th century Japanese master swordsman and a film star and producer. The Eternals are a race of immortal superheroes. The movie also stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and Kit Harington.

Kumail Nanjiani 

Nanjiani is a comedian. Prior to The Eternals, Nanjiani has not played any muscular hero roles. He had to train for a year to get in shape for this role. Posting a photo showing his killer abs on Instagram, Nanjiani said: "I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel's Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn't have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world".

One of constant themes of his media coverage the fact that he is among the few men of color in the mostly white world of Hollywood.  In a recent Hollywood Reporter roundtable with Ricky Gervais, Ramy Youssef, Kenan Thompson and Dan Levy, Nanjiani said Sometimes I feel like there are these two buckets: There's white people, and everyone else is "people of color," and there's this idea that there's a monolithic thought in there.

Kumail Nanjiani's first starring role was in HBO comedy "Silicon Valley" in which he plays a Pakistani-American software engineer. Nanjiani says that "I feel more Pakistani than I have in the last 10 years". "I feel way more defined by my ethnicity now," Nanjiani says. "If there's an ethnicity that is maligned and attacked and demonized ... I'm with you. I stand with you. Because it's unavoidable that people are seeing me a certain way, I kind of want to own it. I feel more Pakistani than I have in the last 10 years", he told USA Today.

Kumail interspersed his 2017 movie The Big Sick with a running presentation on his country of birth that shows him singing the first few lines of Pakistan's national anthem out loud. Nanjiani also brings out his love of cricket and the fact that Pakistan has the world's largest contiguous farm irrigation system.


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistani-American Actor-Producer Kumail Nanjiani's The Big Sick

HBO Comedy "Silicon Valley" Stars Pakistani-American

Pakistanis Make Up Largest Foreign-Born Muslim Group in Silicon Valley

Karachi to Hollywood: Triple Oscar Winning Pakistani-American

Burka Avenger: Pakistani Female Superhero 

Burka Avenger  Videos on Vimeo Channel

Pakistani-American Ashar Aziz's Fireeye Goes Public

Pakistani-American Shahid Khan Richest South Asian in America

Two Pakistani-American Silicon Valley Techs Among Top 5 VC Deals

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision 

Minorities Are Majority in Silicon Valley 

Pakistani-American Population Growth Second Fastest Among Asian-Americans

Edible Arrangements: Pakistani-American's Success Story

Pakistani-American Elected Mayor

Upwardly Mobile Pakistan

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

2 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Disney+'s 'Ms. Marvel' Finds Star in Iman Vellani

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/disneys-ms-marvel-finds-star-in-iman-vellani

Marvel Studios has found its Ms. Marvel.

Newcomer Iman Vellani has nabbed the role of the teenage superhero, who will headline her own Disney+ series before appearing on the big screen in Marvel films.

Marvel had been testing actors throughout the summer and had landed on Vellani by late August or early September, sources say. The Canadian actor hails from the Toronto area and a year ago took part in a Toronto International Film Festival committee that helped highlight films that speak to teenagers. She focused on Hala, a film centering on a Pakistani American teen pulled between her family and life in the West — themes that are echoed in the Ms. Marvel comics.

"We want stories from different genders and different countries and different people," Vellani said at the time.

Disney+'s Ms. Marvel centers on New Jersey teenager Kamala Khan, who broke ground in 2014 as Marvel's first Muslim character to star in her own comic book title. Her comics are known for exploring Kamala's identity as a Pakistani American living in a religious family while trying to find her own way.

Ms. Marvel is from head writer Bisha K. Ali and will be directed by Bad Boys for Life filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, as well as Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a two-time Oscar winner in the documentary short category, and Meera Menon, who has directed episodes of The Walking Dead, The Punisher and Titans.

Actor Kumail Nanjiani, who stars in the upcoming Marvel film The Eternals and who was born in Pakistan, welcomed Vellani to the Marvel family Wednesday.

"I just saw they cast Ms. Marvel and legit got teary eyed. Congratulations Iman Vellani! Your work is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included. I can’t wait," Nanjiani wrote on Twitter.

Ms. Marvel is one of a number of shows Marvel Studios has lined up for Disney+, including WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which originally was set to bow this year and recently resumed production. Meanwhile, Tom Hiddleston's Loki was partially completed before the coronavirus shut it down.

Riaz Haq said...

The last time we checked in on Disney+ and Marvel Studios' live-action series Ms. Marvel, fans were learning that newcomer Iman Vellani has been tapped to play Kamala Khan. Vellani is joining previously-announced directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life), Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness), and Meera Menon (The Walking Dead, Titans) on the project- and now thanks to Disney's investors day event, we're getting a look behind the scenes.

https://bleedingcool.com/tv/ms-marvel-star-iman-vellani-ep-bisha-k-ali-preview-kamala-khan/


In the following clip, Vellani, head writer/EP Bisha K. Ali (Hulu's Four Weddings and a Funeral), and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige discuss the show's journey from page to screen, why bringing Kamala to life is so important, and even more. Plus, what fun would a sizzle reel clip be if it didn't show viewers at least a little bit of how the show's going to look.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRNI9TtBM5E&t=2s
First introduced in the comics in 2012, Ms. Marvel focuses on Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teen who juggles being a teenager with being a superhero while fighting against the prejudice she receives for her Muslim faith- all while attempting to forge her own path. A search is still underway to cast the lead character, one that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige says will play a much larger role on both streaming and theater screens as the MCU enters into its next phase.

Last summer, Feige announced three Disney+ live-action series: Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk. Since that time, we learned that The Umbrella Academy series creator Jeremy Sister was tapped to develop and lead the writers' room on Moon Knight, Emmy award-winner Jessica Gao (Adult Swim's Rick and Morty) is developing and leading the writers' room on She-Hulk, and Ali was on board to write and serve as showrunner on Ms. Marvel. Disney+ also has a number of other live-action series coming up, including the Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany-starring WandaVision (set for January 2021), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie (set for March 2021), the Tom Hiddleston-starring Loki, (set for May 2021) and animated anthology series What If…?, (set for later in 2021). Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion and Don Cheadle returns to the armor for Armor Wars, while the next generation gets the spotlight in Ironheart.