Ms. Marvel: Red Dagger Actor Aramis Knight on Joining MCU

With Wednesday's episode of Ms. Marvel, Aramis Knight debuted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a character named Kareem. Like his comic book counterpart, Kareem is a Red Dagger. Knight is no stranger to exciting comic book movie roles, having played a role in The Dark Knight Rises a decade ago. However, this Ms. Marvel gig might have the excitement setting in a bit more as he is old enough to appreciate what is going on around him. Knight spoke with in an exclusive interview following his debut, where he opened up about playing Kareem, meeting Ms. Marvel herself Iman Vellani, and some spoilers he experienced firsthand.

"I definitely think there was some research in the comics, but I think the difference between Ms. Marvel and a lot of the other comic to show adaptations, is that Ms. Marvel is quite new," Knight said. "All these characters are very new, so there's not a lot of stuff online about them or in the comics even. There's some backstories built and things like that, but for me, I feel like we are kind of creating the characters as we go. And I think the comics will follow in line with the show. So, it felt very much like a clean slate. We were able to have creative freedom to create the character that we wanted to create."

In the series, Kareem is one of several Red Daggers. This varies from the comics where the character himself is the Red Dagger, a formidable ally to Kamala Khan. When the two characters met in the TV show, they fought each other at a train station before realizing they should be teaming up. Knight and Vellani's first meeting was much more peaceful.

"The first time we actually met was during our screen test here in Los Angeles, years ago," Knight recalled. "We were both in the makeup chair sitting next to each other and just talking, super casual meetup. Louis D'Esposito was directing our screen test. So we were hanging out with him. She was super excited to meet him. I didn't quite know who he was, so we were just talking about cars and stuff. I didn't realize he was practically making the decision if I was going to play Red Dagger or not. Luckily it all worked out very well, but yeah that's when we first met." 

Knight realizes that it might be for the best he did not know exactly how D'Esposito was at the time. If he knew was talking to the Co-President of Marvel Studios, playing it cool might have been a lot more difficult. It's a bit different from the times where Knight played a child in need of saving by Catwoman in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, oblivious at the time to the fact that he was working with such renowned actors and filmmakers. "I was 12 years old when I did The Dark Knight Rises. And as a 12 year old in the industry, you don't understand anything that's going on," Knight said. "So I have Christopher Nolan giving me direction. I'm like, 'Who the f-ck are you?'...And I'm with Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway, and as a kid, it's like, I didn't know who they were. So it really was like any other day on set to me. Looking back now I'm like, if I was this age on that set coming in, working two, three days, I would be very, very intimidated. But I don't think you have any inhibitions as a kid."


Fast forward 10 years and Knight is in the Marvel universe, fully understanding the weight of everything going on around him. While he doesn't much mind hearing spoilers from the franchise, he doe recall that Spider-Man: No Way Home having Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield reprising their Spidey roles and Harry Styles making an MCU debut in the Eternals credits scene were among the secrets spoiled for him at work.

The first four episodes of Ms. Marvel are available now on Disney+. Watch's full interview with Knight on the Phase Zero YouTube channel