Ms. Marvel Gets Its Star: Newcomer Iman Vellani Will Play the Latest Marvel Superhero

Disney+ series follows a 16-year-old Pakistani-American teen who becomes a superhero. Plus, first look at Jim Carrey as Joe Biden for SNL, a Conan the Barbarian live-action series, and more of the week's top TV and streaming news.

by | October 2, 2020 | Comments

Another superhero for the MCU, Saturday Night Live performers’ latest gigs, Borat in trailers, Conan the Barbarian in development, and more top TV and streaming news from this week.


TOP STORY

Ms. Marvel Will Not Only Lead the New Disney+ Series, She’ll Also Star in Future MCU Movies

Iman Vellani for TIFF and Ms. Marvel comic issue 13 cover

(Photo by TIFF; Marvel)

Disney+’s next MCU star: Iman Vellani, an 18-year-old Canadian who will star in the upcoming series Ms. Marvel, a.k.a. Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Pakistani-American New Jersey teen who is a fan of superheroes and becomes one herself. The series will be Vellani’s first major Hollywood project. The actress was chosen as one of 12 student members of the 2019–2020 TIFF Next Wave Committee.

The series, from writer Bisha K. Ali, recently lined up its first season directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys for Life), Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (A Girl in the River and Saving Face) and Meera Menon.

Ms. Marvel became the first Muslim character to star in her own comic book in 2014, and she will become Marvel Studio’s first Muslim superhero on screen. Shapeshifting Kamala Khan is the fourth character to take on the Ms. Marvel moniker; Carol Danvers, an Air Force officer whose DNA merged with Captain Marvel’s after an explosion, was the first comic book Ms. Marvel alter ego. Sandra Saad voiced Khan/Ms. Marvel in the Marvel’s Avengers videogame that was released in September.

Vellani and her Ms. Marvel, meanwhile, will join other newbie Disney+ Marvel series, including Samuel L. Jackson reprising his Nick Fury role for a drama, and She-Hulk, with newly-cast Tatiana Maslany starring as the green title heroine. (Deadline)



Saturday Night Live Writer Sam Jay Starring in Late-Night Show on HBO

Comedian-writer Sam Jay

(Photo by courtesy of HBO)

SNL funny woman Sam Jay, part of the sketch comedy series’ writing staff, is getting her own weekly series on HBO’s late night. The untitled half-hour show will find Jay getting deep on topics like race, politics, science, sexual identity, religion, and celebrity, and will be produced by Jay and Insecure showrunner Prentice Penny and A Penny for Your Thoughts productions.

“I’m really excited to bring my point of view to late-night television and have felt nothing but support creatively from HBO and A Penny For Your Thoughts,” Jay said. “So everyone wear your mask and vote so I can make my TV show! Thaaaanks!”

Jay, who has appeared on Broad City and Nobodies, released her first comedy special, 3 in the Morning, on Netflix in August.


Lorne Michaels Producing New Musical Comedy Series with SNL Stars for Apple TV+

Apple TV+ musical cast

(Photo by courtesy Apple TV+/Krista Schlueter (Kristin Chenoweth), Cliff Lipson/CBS (Keegan-Michael Key), Robb Klassen (Ariana DeBose), Steve Vaccariello (Alan Cumming), Martina Tolot (Dove Cameron), Catherine Opie (Fred Armisen), Fer Piña (Jaime Camil))

And more Saturday Night Live-related news this week, the week of the seminal comedy series’ 46th season premiere: SNL papa Lorne Michaels is executive producing a still-untitled musical comedy for Apple TV+ that will feature SNL-ers Cecily Strong and Fred Armisen, as well as Keegan-Michael Key, Alan Cumming, Jane Krakowski, Kristen Chenoweth, Aaron Tveit, Dove Cameron, Ariana DeBose, Jaime Camil, and Ann Harada.

The series, created by Despicable Me writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, will revolve around a couple who goes backpacking to spice up the relationship. They find themselves in an initially charming town where everyone acts like they’re in a 1940s musical, and find they can’t leave until they find true love.

Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) will direct the series, while Strong will also serve as a producer on the show, and Paul will be the series showrunner and write all the original music. The series is set to debut next year.

And in yet one more bit of SNL news – perhaps the best SNL news ever – every episode of every season of the show is now streaming on Peacock. Every. Single. Episode. Which one will you look up first?


NEW TRAILERS: Borat Returns!

Very nice! Amazon Prime Video has picked up the next Borat movie, specifically, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Sacha Baron Cohen, Oscar nominated for writing on 91% Certified Fresh film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, returns to the role that cultivates enemies for the actor worldwide.

More trailers and teasers released this week:

• Big Sky is David E. Kelley’s mystery drama about the disappearance of two sisters who were kidnapped by a truck driver, and the private detectives and cops fighting over the investigation. Starring Ryan Phillippe, Kylie Bunbury, Katheryn Winnick, and John Carroll Lynch. Premieres Nov. 17 (ABC)
• Fear the Walking Dead season 6 stars Lennie James, Garrett Dillahunt, Colman Domingo, and Alycia Debnam-Carey, Jenna Elfman, Austin Amelio, and Colby Minafie. Premieres Oct. 11 (AMC)
• Belushi is R.J. Cutler’s documentary about the late, great Saturday Night Live, Animal House, and Blues Brothers star John Belushi. Premieres Nov. 22 (Showtime)
• Supernatural, the series’ 15th and final season, starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, premieres Oct. 8 (The CW)
• His House is a horror movie about a couple who escape war-torn Sudan, only to find their new British home is filled with evil. Stars Wunmi Mosaku, and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, and Matt Smith and premieres on Oct. 30 (Netflix)
• Supermarket Sweep is a remake of the classic ‘90s game show, this time hosted by Leslie Jones. Premieres Oct. 18 (ABC)
• Holidate is a romantic comedy about two strangers who agree to be each other’s regular plus-one for holiday events so their friends and families will stop trying to matchmake for them. Starring Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Frances Fisher, and Kristin Chenoweth, premieres on Oct. 28 (Netflix)
• Vampires vs. The Bronx is a comedy horror movie about a group of teenagers who are forced to protect their NYC neighborhood when it’s invaded by vampires. Stars Method Man, Chris Redd, Jaden Michael, Shea Whigham, and The Kid Mero and premieres on Oct. 2 (Netflix)
• David Byrne’s American Utopia is a filmed version of the titular musician’s 2019 Broadway show, featuring his music and directed and produced by Spike Lee. Premieres Oct. 17 (HBO Max)
• Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, season 1, is a CGI series based on the Resident Evil game series and starring Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy. Premieres in 2021 (Netflix)

For all the latest TV and streaming trailers, subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.


CASTING: Hamilton Star Renée Elise Goldsberry Is Starring in Girls5eva, Tina Fey’s Pop Star Comedy at Peacock

Renée Elise Goldsberry

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for IFP)

Grammy and Tony Award-winning Hamilton star Renée Elise Goldsberry will star in the upcoming Peacock comedy Girls5eva, from Tina Fey, Robert Carlock and Meredith Scardino. Goldsberry will join previously announced star Sara Bareilles in the story of a one-hit-wonder girls group from the ‘90s who try for comeback.

Mahershala Ali, Angela Davis, T.T. Harris, Mimi Jones, Ledisi, Greg Alverez Reid, Nate Smith, Olivia Washington, and Ta-Nahesi Coates have joined the cast of the HBO adaptation of Coates’ Between the World and Me, which will premiere on Nov. 21. The cast already includes Angela Bassett, Jharrel Jerome, Joe Morton, Wendell Pierce, and Oprah Winfrey.

Tom Sturridge is reportedly the leading contender for the title role in the Netflix series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel The Sandman. (Collider)

Dwayne Johnson and NBC have set the cast for Young Rock, the network’s Johnson-produced comedy about his formative years. Adrian Groulx will play the 10-year-old Dwayne, Bradley Constant will play the 15-year-old Dwayne, and Uli Latukefu will play him from 18-20, when he is being recruited to play football on a scholarship at the University of Miami. Adult cast members include Stacey Leilua as Johnson’s mom, Joseph Lee Anderson as his dad (wrestling legend Rocky Johnson), and Ana Tuisila as his grandma. The show is scheduled to premiere in 2021.

Lisa Edelstein will join the cast of 9-1-1: Lone Star, playing Gwyneth, the ex-wife of Rob Lowe’s Owen Strand. The actress played Lowe’s love interest on The West Wing. (Deadline)

Basil Eidenbenz will play Eskel in the second season of Netflix’s The Witcher, taking over for Thue Ersted Rasmussen, who had to drop out of the role because of scheduling conflicts caused by the pandemic.

Gotham star Alex Morf will return to Gotham City to reprise his role as villain Victor Zsasz in Season 2 of The CW’s Batwoman. (EW)

The Resident star Erinn Westbrook is joining the cast of Riverdale, where she’ll play Pop Tate’s ambitious granddaughter, Tabitha, who wants to take over Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe and franchise it. (Deadline)

Scrubs star Judy Reyes and ER star Parminder Nagra will guest star as – what else – doctor colleagues of Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) on the Season 7 premiere of Black-ish. (EW)


PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Conan The Barbarian Live-Action Series Set for Netflix

Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1982 film Conan the Barbarian (Universal Pictures)

(Photo by Universal Pictures)

Netflix is developing a live-action TV series about Conan the Barbarian, the character created by writer Robert E. Howard, and played on the big-screen by Arnold Schwarzenegger (pictured). Netflix has the rights to create Conan movies and TV series, live-action and animated. No cast, writers, showrunner, or directors are yet attached to the project. (Deadline)

Another movie being developed as a series: A Fistful of Dollars, the spaghetti Western that launched Clint Eastwood’s film career. Mark Gordon Pictures is behind the adaptation, which doesn’t have a home yet, but Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman is in talks to pen it. The movie, itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, revolves around Eastwood’s “Man With No Name,” who arrives in a violent town and uses his brains to trick the local thugs to destroy each other. Eastwood played the same role in two other movies, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, so there should be plenty of material for the series. (Deadline)

Hilary Clinton is developing an anthology drama for The CW, with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television. The Woman’s Hour will be based on author Elaine Weiss’s book, The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, and will shed light on the ferocious battle to ratify the 19th Amendment, the 100th anniversary of which was commemorated in August. Each season of the series would celebrate individuals responsible for changing that history.

ABC is developing two drama series with Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail. Acts of Crime is a “unique spin” on crime procedurals, written and directed by Esmail with Esmail and Esmail Corp’s Chad Hamilton as executive producers. The other series is known only as “Untitled CDC Project.” Both shows are set up at NBCUniversal’s UCP studio.


New Disney+ Feature Allows Socially-Distanced Watch Parties

Toy Story 4

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

Perfect for Mulan and Hamilton watch parties during the socially-distanced holidays: like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video, Disney+ now has a watch party feature. Called GroupWatch, which allows users of the streaming service to sync up the same program and watch together.


A First Look at the New Batwoman in Costume

New Batwoman star Javicia Leslie teased the first look at her new Batsuit on Instagram. The second season is set to premiere in 2021.


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