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In the aftermath of the Infinity Saga, Phase 4 has brought an all-new era of heroes to light with Shang-Chi, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel. Each of these tales has delivered a backstory from different cultures worldwide including Asian, Egyptian, and most recently Muslim, as Marvel Studios’ latest Disney+ series dives into Kamala Khan’s Pakistani heritage.
As Ms. Marvel begins to unravel the mysteries behind Kamala’s family and the ancient bangle that unlocked her powers, the series’ sound mixer teased the “dynamic” shift to come.
The Direct recently spoke to Ms. Marvel sound mixer Chris Giles to discuss the recent Disney+ series, and he teased what’s to come from the remaining episodes.
Giles previously worked in the same role on WandaVision, which was a “whole other direction” from Ms. Marvel. While the sound mixer was familiar with Wanda and Vision going into his last Disney+ venture, he had to stock up on Kamala Khan’s comic adventure for this project:
“Well, WandaVision, of course, is part of the very established MCU. This is, this is a whole other direction. Because if you follow the comic series and everything, they always serve as an inspiration. They’re not always a letter for letter following everything to a tee, which is good and bad, and whatever. But it was a bit. I didn’t know how to take it at first, because I knew who the characters were when we walked into WandaVision. I knew who to look into. All I had for Miss Marvel was okay, I’m going to go and make sure I can buy every comic, I can find that has Ms. Marvel’s name on it, and start powering through these to get an idea of the whole series. And so, I guess the difference really is this is a whole other direction for MCU. And so that part is extremely exciting. And you’re a bit apprehensive trying to see where it goes. But I’m very happy with what I just saw.”
Discussing what it was like to work with a younger cast on Ms. Marvel, Giles noted how he “welcomed” the experience for the chance to bring “something that may be more related for a lot of people” because “everybody needs a hero:”
“I welcomed it because this is what I feel the MCU needs. We get to open up people’s living rooms, or theaters, or homes, or hearts and minds, to the idea of people that don’t always fit in a certain canon or a certain demographic or archetype. And bring them something, something different. And something that may be more relatable for a lot of people that didn’t have something that was 100% relatable. And that’s fascinating to me. Everybody needs a hero, even if it’s just you know, comic book pages, or you know, writings or a series everybody needs a hero, and I am fascinated with the opportunity to be able to help provide this.”
Giles was unable to share his favorite episode, but he shared his belief that “when they start building more of the backstory, it gets more dynamic” in a different way from other recent MCU outings:
“I can’t say. When they start building more of the backstory, it gets more dynamic differently than I think a lot of MCU things have typically. So, if nothing else, because it’s different. It stands out in my mind. I hope it translates to the audience because we can perceive it one way, because we’ve read the scripts we’ve been through the process. And we can applaud our ways all the way to release. But, until the audience sees it, you have no idea if it registers, or if it speaks to people. Mostly because the demographics that it serves are what speak to me the most. If nothing else, the more youthful audience.”
He went on to reveal the standout episodes come later in the series when it dives into “things that a lot of Westerners may not even be aware of existing,” but those familiar with the character “might be able kind of piece it together:”
“The standout ones will be, somewhere in my mind, for me, will be later in the series. Because we start touching on things that a lot of Westerners may not even be aware of existing. Maybe if you follow the canon of Ms. Marvel and a few other things, you might be able to kind of piece it together and figure some of this out. But I’m fascinated that there are some stories that are going to be told through this medium. And it’s kind of to me, it’s backstories, it’s sort of things that help develop these characters. Because, you know, Marvel gets critiqued a lot for, oh, there’s no character development, oh, it’s just flashing and banging and blowing things up, and this and that. Especially these episodic streaming projects, they’re able to flesh out a lot of backstories. So, whenever you do greet them on the big screen, you’re like, oh, I was able to read up on such and so, this is why they are at, you know, an adversary to this other person that I thought was a good person or bad guy, or whatever the case is. No, there are some really, really cool things coming.”
The sound mixer confirmed part of the shoot took place in Southeast Asia – previous set photos indicated shooting took place in Bangkok, Thailand, toward the end of production. When asked about his favorite location to film, Giles shared the amazing experience of working with a crew around the world on a “very educational… great journey:”
“Anytime you get to visit any other place on the planet, it’s amazing. And yes, we, we had people from Southeast Asia and I got to work a little bit more side by side with them and just see how they process the world versus how we process the world typically, and with more Western culture. And that, to me, was a very humbling experience. And very, it kind of opened up my universe a little bit more. It was very educational. And it was just, it was such a great journey.”
Zoning in on Episode 1’s AvengerCon event, Giles described the experience on the “beautiful set” that made it feel “documentary-like:”
“Yeah, that was a beautiful set. I mean, the people who built that, and the designers and everything, it’s as impressive as it looks on screen, I think it looked more impressive in person. I’ve been to the different con-type things in the area. This, if all cons were as this was built, I’d be at every one of them. It was beautiful. They did such a good job. No, it was just it felt like you were in that environment. Because they did so well. It almost felt documentary-like when you walked into the room.”
Warning – The rest of this article contains spoilers for Episode 3 of Ms. Marvel.
Even though the first few episodes of Ms. Marvel have already proven it to be one of the MCU’s strongest Disney+ shows yet, it seems that the end of the series will take the narrative to a whole new level. Since Kamala seems to be headed to Karachi in the next installment to figure out just how she ties in with the Clandestine, it makes sense why Giles is excited for fans to see where the story goes.
Pakistan is not a setting Western audiences usually see too often in blockbuster franchises, so this may be what Giles is referring to when he mentioned upcoming elements that “a lot of Westerners may not even be aware of.” Whether that is the case or not, it’s reassuring to know that Ms. Marvel will continue to unapologetically dive into ideas that are often left out of Hollywood productions and explore Kamala’s culture in great depth.
Given that the previous installment tied into Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings of all the properties, Ms. Marvel’s subsequent episodes will no doubt venture to some unexpected places.
The first three episodes of Ms. Marvel are streaming now on Disney+.