Israeli actress Shira Haas was announced, on Saturday, to play Israeli superheroine Sabra in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Captain America: New World Order.
The announcement was made by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige at the D23 Expo event in Anaheim, California. Haas wasn’t there, but her fellow co-stars Anthony Mackie (Captain America, formerly the Falcon), Carl Lumbly (Isaiah Bradley) and Danny Ramirez (Juaquin Torres, the new Falcon), were present and are all reprising their roles from previous Marvel properties.
Haas also confirmed the news of her casting in the Marvel film and shared a Variety article on her Instagram.
New World Order is the fourth Captain America film in the franchise, serving as a sequel to Captain America: Civil War and the Falcon and the Winter Soldier miniseries.
Haas is best known for her roles in the shows Unorthodox and Shtisel. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy in 2020 for her performance as Esther Shapiro in Unorthodox and garnered international recognition for the role. She has also won two Ophir Awards for her roles in the films Asia and Noble Savage.
So, who is Sabra and why is she important?
In the comics, Sabra, also known by the alias Ruth Bat–Seraph, is a largely unknown character in the comics, first appearing in the 1980s Incredible Hulk comic book series. The character was created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema. Sabra had multiple costumes in the comics but often had the Star of David engraved into her uniform.
The character is also a mutant, who worked for the Mossad in the comics. She has appeared alongside more well–known Marvel heroes, such as the Hulk, Iron Man, She-Hulk and the X–Men.
While there are plenty of Jewish characters in the Marvel universe, such as Moon Knight, Magneto and The Thing, Sabra is the only known superhero in Marvel comics so far that was born and raised in Israel.
The name of her character is based on the term sabra, which refers to any Jewish person that was born in Israel.
Sabra will be in CAPTAIN AMERICA: NEW WORLD ORDER.We will be living in a world with a live action Sabra in the movies.I never saw that coming. pic.twitter.com/4iLEBb06wT— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) September 10, 2022
In reaction to the announcement, Dan Slott, a comic book writer known for his Spider-Man and She-Hulk stories, tweeted that “We will be living in a world with a live-action Sabra in the movies. I never saw that coming.”
Zionist organization StandWithUs tweeted: “Fantastic news! Mazal tov Shira! We are so proud!”
Fantastic news! Marvel Studios revealed that acclaimed Israeli Actress @shirahaas will join the #Marvel Cinematic Universe, playing an Israeli superhero “#Sabra” in the newest Captain America movie. Mazal tov Shira! We are so proud! ♀️#D23Expo pic.twitter.com/fft5dc8aXc— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) September 10, 2022
Many others took to Twitter in response to the news, with one person tweeting that “Mark Ruffalo is gonna be SO pissed,” likely referring to controversial statements that the Hulk actor has made about Israel.
Captain America: New World Order is slated to be released on May 3, 2024, as one of the upcoming Phase Five films of the MCU.