Warning: this story contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel Episode 6, "No Normal." In the final scene of Marvel Studios series Ms. Marvel, something surprising happens: Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) somehow switches places with her hero, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson). The post-credits scene sets up Kamala's big-screen crossover with Danvers and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) in The Marvels, director Nia DaCosta's Captain Marvel sequel set to open in theaters on July 28, 2023. But as unexpected as it was for the cosmic Avenger to teleport into a fangirl's Captain Marvel-adorned bedroom in Jersey City, it was just as surprising for Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah: the directors were unaware the show would end with a scene from The Marvels.
"Well, we didn't shoot that [laughs]. Nia DaCosta is directing The Marvels, she shot that scene without knowing that it would be a post-credit scene," Fallah told SlashFilm. "And we discovered [it was added to the finale] when we were color grading; all of a sudden, after the credits, [laughs] we saw that scene. That was mind-blowing. We're like, 'Oh sh-t.'"
Fallah continued, "Yeah, then we have questions. We asked [Marvel Studios boss] Kevin Feige, but Kevin Feige's like, 'No, you stay in the show. You just accept how it is. And everything that's outside of the show, you don't have to know that.'"
After the ending reveal that Kamala Khan is a mutant — confirmed by Bruno's (Matt Lintz) report on her genetic mutation and a riff on the X-Men '97 theme — what happens next is a mystery, even for Fallah and El Arbi.
"I think maybe she's in space somewhere," El Arbi theorized with a laugh. "Maybe she's in some universe. Yeah, [Kamala and Captain Marvel] switched places." Added Fallah, "She will be on an adventure."
In an interview with Variety, Ms. Marvel head writer Bisha K. Ali confirmed that Kamala switches places with Carol instead of shape-shifting into Captain Marvel. Just before she unwittingly teleports out of her bedroom, the "magic" bangle handed down by Kamala's great-grandmother Aisha (Mehwish Hayat) glows with the purple energy of the Noor dimension harnessed by Kamala.
"Kamala doesn't turn into Carol. It's an important distinction," Ali said, "just because in the comic books, that's something that [Kamala] does — she can change the way she looks and she looks like Carol Danvers in Issue 1 of the comic book. She's not turning into Carol [on the show]. That's Carol Danvers standing in Kamala's bedroom."
The first meeting between Kamala and her superhero idol is reserved for The Marvels, which teams the trio of Larson, Parris, and Vellani against an as-yet-unrevealed threat.
"I think [the series] would have really taken it off in a different direction if she'd met [Carol] any sooner than she will meet her, which is in the movie that's coming out next year," Ali said. "She's still gonna be so excited and just so happy to meet, when they finally do get to meet. But in this journey, in this character arc, it felt really important, actually, that they didn't meet."
Starring Iman Vellani, Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Naki, Azher Usman, Travina Springer and Nimra Bucha, all six episodes of Marvel Studios' Ms. Marvel are now streaming on Disney+.