They were born ready.
Following the September 30 premiere of Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors on the Disney channel, the cast and executive producers spoke about these next-gen superheroes and what’s to come next for the Secret Warriors heroes at New York Comic Con.
Featuring stars Kathreen Khavari (Miss Marvel), Milana Vayntrub (Squirrel Girl), Tyler Posey (Inferno), Kamil McFadden (Patriot), and executive producers Cort Lane and Sana Amanat, the group spoke to fans at a New York Comic-Con panel about portraying these young, diverse heroes. These heroes have proved to empower and represent a variety of audience members.
“It’s been really amazing to see this story evolve, see some of these characters we’ve been working on at Marvel for years just become real in different ways… we’re just excited that we can take this to the next level because we believe in all these characters, we know how important they are and they have brought in so many fans already,” says Amanat. “Rising is a reflection of that audience, and that audience changing and bringing everyone in and Rising is a celebration of that fact. It really inspiring and exciting to see what this cast is and what everyone looks like, and everyone is so wonderful and beautiful and unique, and is bringing such a special point of view to this project.”
The cast echoed Amanat’s sentiments as they described what drew each of them to their roles as these young heroes.
“I think so many of those characters haven’t necessarily been represented, and a lot of them who have in other media, are represented in very inaccurate and dangerous ways, namely Muslims,” Khavari said. “I think it is important to have positive Muslim characters who are really representing and reflective of who Muslims truly are. For me, that’s one of the biggest selling points for Miss Marvel and why I love voicing her because she does remind me of my own family… she’s the daughter of immigrants who were Muslim and I’m so appreciative of Marvel Rising and of Marvel for bringing Miss Marvel into this space, so we can finally have something great to look at that is accurate.”
In Marvel Rising, each character must overcome his or her own battles and learn to accept themselves and their powers—skills their voice actors admire about their animated personas.
“Inferno kind of has a little bit of a past, partly due to him not being able to hone in on his powers, his powers are so new and he can’t quite grasp how to use them and it creates issues for him and he doesn’t trust himself with the powers and that makes him untrusting of other people, so it makes it hard to fall in line and be a good guy,” Posey said. “He’s got a great influences with the lead females of the show, and the rest of the cast. They are nonjudgemental of him; in his whole entire life he’s always felt like the bad guy, but they are very accepting of him. But the fact that they are so forgiving and nonjudgemental and really accept him to be part of their own, that kind of persuades him ‘maybe I can handle this, maybe I can be a hero without burning things down.’”
Other actors admire the friendship of their fellow heroes that inspire their characters to be better leaders on their quest for justice.
“I feel like his partnership with Quake and the other females of the show, they teach him not everything’s black and white and sometimes, in order to do the right thing, you operate that gray area where you have to break rules that are set in place,” McFadden said.
These heroes are young and fresh-faced, eager to make a difference and help the world.
“I think it’s like Miss Marvel, where she [Squirrel Girl] has so much potential that she’s excited to use and bring to fruition, but also what drives her more than anything is wanting to make the world a better place,” Vayntrub said. “She’s very fairness-driven, so that motivates her to pursue justice… [with] an infinite number of squirrels.”
Following the success of Initiation and Secret Warriors, Marvel is currently in production for its next special, “Marvel Rising: Chasing Ghosts.”
“If you recall the Marvel Rising: Initiation, she [Ghost-Spider] was after Sheath trying to get justice for her friend Kevin,” Lane said. “Exile, if you watch closely, was the person who helped Sheath escape, so there’s a connection between those two. So, she’s been chasing after Sheath, which leads us to our next special. Our next special is Marvel Rising: Chasing Ghosts, where Dove Cameron returns as Ghost-Spider. We find her in the middle of her hunt for Sheath. There’s some complications that involve the return of BooBoo Stewart as Exile, because I’m sure you wondered at the end of the feature film what happened to him because he disappears. Now, there’s a couple characters, particularly Miss Marvel, Inferno, who have a beef with him.”
NYCC fans were treated to a first look at a clip of the unedited Marvel Rising: Chasing Ghosts opening (without sound effects or music added). The exclusive clip shows Ghost-Spider mid-hunt chasing down Sheath and the hijinks that ensue as both a superhero and a teenager as she tries to capture her nemesis.Another new special is in the works starring Ironheart, Lane revealed.
“Our next special is Heart of Iron with Sofia Wylie from Disney Channel’s Andi Mack as Ironheart and a really epic adventure involving her, the Secret Warriors, Captain Marvel, even Iron Man shows up, with Ming-Na Wen returning as Hala,” Lane said.
Additionally, after fans commented on the pop-fueled tunes the film was set to (and they aren’t wrong, “Born Ready” by Dove Cameron is such a bop), Lane revealed some plans for new music to accompany the upcoming specials.
“We are creating more [original] songs, so that is [a soundtrack] something that is possible,” Lane said. “We’re still in production for so much, but the relevance of pop songs in terms of the story and for this audience is not lost on us, so there’s more plans.”
In the meantime, Secret Warriors is available to stream on the DisneyNow app and will air on Disney Channel on October 11.