The Marvels star Iman Vellani says the failure of her franchise debut as the series’ first Muslim superhero is Disney CEO Bob Iger’s problem.
After a record drop in takings between its first and second weekends, the film is on course to be the biggest flop in the studio’s history.
Featuring a trio of female leads, Vellani, Brie Larson and Teyonah Parris, it has been rubbished by critics as ‘interminable’ and has earned less money than any of the 32 Marvel movies that preceded it.
But Vellani, 21, who plays Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel, said it was ‘nothing to do with me’ and suggested her embattled studio boss should take the rap.
‘I don’t want to focus on something that’s not even in my control, because what’s the point?’ she told Yahoo Entertainment.
‘That’s for Bob Iger.’
Canadian Pakistani actress Iman Vellani, 21, was a childhood comic book fan before being cast as Marvel’s first Muslim superhero Kamala Khan in The Marvel
Vellani seen left with co-stars Brie Larson and Teyonah Parris has brushed off criticism of the movie as ‘nothing to do with me’ after a record drop in takings at the box office
Vellani stars as Kamala Khan – aka Ms Marvel – a teenage American Muslim from Jersey City, New Jersey endowed with extraordinary powers
‘It has superheroes, it takes place in space, it’s not that deep and it’s about teamwork and sisterhood,’ Vellani said in an interview
Under fire Disney CEO is under fire again with the film on course to post the biggest loss in any of the Marvel franchise’s 34-movie history
Iger who announced a third sequel in the Frozen franchise last week was said to be ‘overwhelmed and exhausted’ last month after extending his contract for another three years.
The mogul who came out of retirement in 2020 to return to the company has been dogged by battles with Florida governor Ron DeSantis, the long-running actors’ strike and challenges to his leadership amid a slippery share price.
He warned this summer that Marvel had spread itself too thin with offshoots including the Disney + series in which Vellani made her debut.
‘Not only did they increase their movie output, justwatch [justwatch.wiki] but they ended up making a number of TV series,’ he told CNBC.
‘Frankly, it diluted focus and attention.’
But Vellani, 21, who plays Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel, said it was ‘nothing to do with me’ and suggested the matter would be Iger’s to deal with
The plot sees the three co-stars try to save the universe after Zawe Ashton’s Dar-Benn gets hold of some ‘quantum bands’ and uses their power to tear open a ‘jump point’ in space.
Marvel editor Sana Amanat said the character was originally going to be a mutant before they changed her to being an inhuman
Disney spent more than $275 million making The Marvels but it made just $46.1 million on its first weekend in the US, dropping a record 78 per cent to $10.2 million on its second.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes calculated an approval rating of just 62 percent based on 318 reports.
And a survey by CinemaScore found the film tied with Eternals, and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as the worst of the 33 Marvel Cinematic Universe movies produced so far.
Anthony D’Alessandro at Deadline blamed the poor reception on ‘Disney’s overexposure of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brand on Disney+’.
‘The crossover with Marvel streaming series makes it look more like a project that should be viewed at home rather than the theater,’ he added.
But Sam Thielman of Slate said the movie ‘with two fantastic musical numbers, three compelling leads, at least four truly fun action sequences, as well a bunch of garbage-y CGI,’ could actually benefit the Marvelverse if the studio would ‘reconsider taking such a heavy hand,’ over the franchise.
The movie took just $46.1 million on its first weekend in the US, dropping a record 78 per cent to $10.2 million on its second
Legendary horror author Stephen King jumped in to defend Vellani and her co-stars, despite not being a fan of any Marvel movies
Now 19, Vellani was originally cast in the Disney+ TV series on her last day of High School when she got a phone call from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige while she was driving with friends. She is pictured on The Tonight Show with Jiimmy Fallon
Samuel Jackson stars as the trio’s nemesis Nick Fury in the character’s 11th Marvel film
Legendary horror author Stephen King jumped in to defend Vellani and her co-stars, despite not being a fan of any Marvel movies.
‘Some of the rejection of The Marvels may be adolescent fanboy hate. You know, ‘Yuck! GIRLS!’ he tweeted.
‘I find this barely masked gloating over the low box office for The Marvels very unpleasant. Why gloat over failure?’
‘Having Stephen King in anyone’s corner is pretty awesome,’ Vellani told Yahoo.
‘I’m happy with the finished product, and the people that I care about enjoyed the film.
‘It’s genuinely a good time watching this movie, and that’s all we can ask for with these films.
‘It has superheroes, it takes place in space, it’s not that deep and it’s about teamwork and sisterhood.
‘It’s a fun movie, and I’m just so happy that I can share it with people.’