Amanat is Marvel's VP of Content and Character Development, as well as Co-Executive Producer of Secret Warriors. We had a chance to talk to Amanat all about the lovable cast of characters assembled in the film, as well as why Marvel decided to put the group together in the first place.
For those unfamiliar with Marvel Rising, Amanat gives a perfect breakdown on the central premise and why this line is so important to Marvel.
"So Marvel Rising is all about the next generation of Marvel superheroes and we think these are the heroes that audiences have grown to love," Amanat said. "They're some of the most endearing, beloved, unique superheroes that we've got and we really wanted to do this because we feel like there has been so much of a demand for not only just content like this but more content featuring these characters specifically. We wanted to continue to engage with a lot of this new audience that has come into the publishing space as people who are walking into comic shops for the first time, and they're doing so because they picked up Ms. Marvel for the first time, or Squirrel Girl for the first time. We wanted to be able to continue to create some great content.
Marvel Rising started with several mini-series and one-shots in the comics and then segued into several animated shorts titled Marvel Rising: Initiation. Now fans will get to see the full film when it debuts on Disney XD on September 30th. While you wait though hit the next slide to find out more about the Marvel Rising characters and world that you'll soon fall in love with!
A Cast That's Easy To Love
The characters of Marvel Rising include America Chavez, Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, Patriot, Inferno, Quake, Ghost-Spider, and Captain Marvel, with a few more characters and sidekicks along for the ride (like the adorable Tippy Toe and Lockjaw for instance). Part of their charm comes from how relatable they are, something Amanat compares to a certain iconic wall-crawler.
"What I love about these characters in particular is I feel like they have that relatability and sort of awkwardness and silliness that Peter Parker has," Amanat said. "Each of them have that in very distinct ways and I think Peter Parker is one of those characters that is so universally beloved and is timeless in so many ways and we really believe these characters have those same kinds of qualities."
It helps to have a fantastic cast onboard to bring these characters to life, and luckily Marvel Rising has that too. The cast includes Chloe Bennet, Milana Vayntrub, Dove Cameron, Skai Jackson, Kathreen Khavari, Kamil McFadden, Tyler Posey, Cierra Ramirez, Kim Raver, Booboo Stewart, and Ming-Na Wen.
"So obviously on a personal note I love this cast," Amanat said. "I'm a little biased 'cause I'm in Marvel but I've always loved all of these characters and I think just them interacting with one another, me reliving my sort of childhood in some senses and putting together a story that a younger Sana would love was so much fun for me. I think it's also still incredibly important to have these kinds of stories for younger fans across the board. Yes, absolutely for girls because I think girls are gonna love this, but I think for boys too. I think boys love these characters as much as girls do."prevnext
No Limits In Sight
The team at Marvel has been quite happy with the reaction from fans in bringing these characters together, though they were somewhat surprised to see just how many different types of audiences and age groups Marvel Rising has attracted.
"We've just been really surprised at the types of not only just gender wise who's responding but also age wise," Amanat said. "It's definitely, obviously, this is made for a slightly younger audience but at the same time I think people enjoy it of all ages and I think they're really drawn to the characters themselves, and the relationships."
"But I do think it's been ... the reaction has been incredible and I think because we've got some great teaser shorts to kind of set up what's gonna happen in the film and then also just some additional content like the music featurette that we have," Amanat said. "I think it's really showing this is a full program that really celebrates these characters and is engaging with audiences in a new way, and a fresh way we haven't really done before. So for us, I think people are really connecting to that and they're also so excited."
Fans are also embracing the fact that this is the first time some of these characters are hitting the world of animation.
"The biggest thing is people are just excited that a lot of these characters are in animated form for the first time. Not Ms. Marvel but Squirrel Girl and America Chavez, so stuff like that is really ... it's really cool to see not only just fans but also parents just excited that they have something they can share with their kids," Amanat said. "And fathers also, the fact that they have a whole thing that they can share with ... a movie and cast of characters that they can share with their daughters. I think that's incredibly powerful, it's a powerful thing. It's something that they've always wanted."prevnext
A New Generation
Fans like me have been waiting to see characters like America and Squirrel Girl get their time in the spotlight, and they are also a part of the next generation of heroes that can be the hook for your son, daughter, nieces, nephews, or grand kids to get them off and running into the world of comics.
"Well that's the thing through a lot of this is ... and I had mentioned this before but we really look at Marvel as a whole and it's very much generational," Amanat said. "You kinda pass it on from one generation to the next and you look at all of our stories and they're so timeless. You can tell a million different Spider-Man stories and you don't get sick of that character and that's so true for all of our characters. When you love something, you love a story, you love a character, or you love a narrative you do wanna see it in all different forms and as many times as possible, and I think that's why we're so long-lasting, and why our brand is so strong, and our stories are so strong."
"But specifically that they also realize that this is very much about how do we pass it on to the next generation and what stories do we wanna share with them? And I think having that literal sort of transference from father to daughter, father to son, father to nephew, niece, little cousin, mother to goddaughter, whatever it is, that passing on of the story transference I feel like it's so true to just the nature of our pop culture and long lasting mythology. So that's really the source of Rising and why I think it's going to be so incredibly important 'cause it's ... people can come together across generations and share a love for this really, really strong story but really just beloved characters."prevnext
Assembling The Team
The Marvel Universe has no shortage of characters to choose from, and while there were a few other choices talked about for the team, ultimately it came down to who fans had connected to most.
"Yeah. I think we went through a few different iterations, and drafts, and characters that we could potentially use," Amanat said. "There's just so many and it was actually really hard to calm it down but we felt like these were the ones that audiences were already connecting with and that we felt like had a lot of potential to sort of connect with new audiences. All of them have some similarities to other characters like Spider characters, and Captain America and things like that but we also wanted to make sure they very much stand on their own feet and that they have their own sort of visual identity and obviously have their own unique personalities, power sets, and all of that."prevnext
Seeing Past Your Differences
One of the other prevalent themes in Secret Warriors is seeing past your differences to find some common ground, and this cast of characters let Marvel play with that quite a bit.
"We felt like they just played off of each other, the character dynamics worked really well and how different they were, and sort of the challenges that they would need to go through in order for them to come together because they're all so different," Amanat said. "I think that's also just a really strong message to pass on to younger people is despite people's differences you have to give them a chance and get to know them. It's not even that it's about teamwork or working together but it's about really helping one another and becoming more powerful when you do that. When you sort of align yourself with people that might seem like they're different but you guys have a lot more in common than you think. So that's really why we chose these characters. I think they're just all great but they also kinda teach each other something in very specific ways."prevnext
While the entire cast will get their individual moments to shine throughout Secret Warriors, there is a significant arc for Miss America, though it will be a subtle one at times.
"I would say it might not sort of seem ... it probably won't come across so obviously but I do think from an emotional standpoint America Chavez goes through a pretty significant arc and change, and a lot of it has to do with her background, her history, and where she's coming from," Amanat said. "Her beginning to trust these kids and she has a good reason as to why she doesn't but I think it's a pretty great arc and I was actually really surprised. I was like, "Oh she actually ended up being one of the breakouts of this."
It will also be hard to ignore the sheer joy and enthusiasm that Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl bring to the screen.
"And we think Squirrel Girl and Kamala kind of have an amazing relationship and they have a very significant sort of change within their friendship because they're kind of doing this all for the first time and they have a bit of a conflict in the story," Amanat said.
"I do think that America ended up being someone really interesting just in terms of what she's going through and how I think some audiences are gonna relate to that," Amanat said. "Not being able to sort of trust people and what it takes to be able to do so."prevnext
Captain Marvel: The Ideal
Captain Marvel will also be a part of Secret Warriors, a character who is very important to Kamala Kahn, and that will be reflected in the movie.
"Well I don't wanna spoil too much but I will say that she is sort of ... she's very much ... okay if you've read the Ms. Marvel comics she's very much this idea obviously for Ms. Marvel but also for Squirrel Girl, this ideal rather, that they think that they need to be like," Amanat said. "And she's representative of the rest of the Avengers. She represents Tony Stark, Captain America, and all those guys, and they wanna be just like her. They think she's incredible and she's the definition of being a powerful superhero."
While she will be a part of the movie, she isn't going to steal the focus away from the team.
"So they very much look up to her and obviously they do, I don't wanna spoil it for people, but you've seen the trailers so they do eventually interact with her and it's really sweet, and really incredible and eventually they end up working together but it's really more about the friendships among these younger heroes and them sort of looking up at these other heroes and aspiring to be just like them and hoping that they'll give them a chance."prevnext
What About Surprises?
If you've watched the trailer you kind of know what to expect, but you might be surprised at a few things, mostly in how much you'll love Tippy and Lockjaw.
"I think they'll really love the animals like Tippy and Lockjaw," Amanat said. "I think there's sort of these unexpected characters people don't know much about but they're definitely really endearing and funny and I definitely think they're gonna be excited about that."
She's just surprised that they got to do something like this in the first place. "But I don't know about surprises. I feel like it's a surprise that we're even able to pull off a show like this. Someone let us do it. They let me do it," Amanat said.prevnext
While Marvel Rising has only been really active on the comic and animation fronts in 2018, this project has been in the works for quite some time behind the scenes.
"I think it took about almost two years for us to really put it together from development to production to final," Amanat said. "It may be even longer than that. But we've been talking about this for a while so to be able to actually get Marvel to approve it and to get it out there is pretty awesome."
The movie isn't even out yet, but we imagine the reaction will be quite positive, so we had to ask about the future of Marvel Rising going forward.
"Well all I can say is that we'll talk a little bit more about that soon," Amanat said. "But I do, I will say that we do believe in the Marvel Rising overall program and franchise, and hopefully if the response goes well yeah, of course, we'd love to do more. So we will see and you will hear more soon is all I'm allowed to say."prevnext
The Captain Marvel Trailer
Not too long ago a certain big-time trailer dropped, the much anticipated first trailer for Captain Marvel, so we had to ask what Sana thought of the hero's big debut.1comments
"Oh, I thought it was so great. I loved it," Amanat said. "On a very personal note, obviously, I've been working on that character since I guess the inception of this iteration of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel and so to see that come alive, it's heartwarming. It's thrilling. It's just so exciting, it definitely gave me goosebumps. It's a good feeling. It's a good feeling to see when something that you've worked on but something that you know is so meaningful to a lot of people it is getting it's due. So I'm very excited about it."
We're excited for Captain Marvel as well, but we're pretty stoked for Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors too, and you can catch the premiere on Disney XD September 30th.prev