The ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded all the way beyond cinema entirely. As of early 2021, Marvel Studios began its conquest of the small screen, beginning with projects like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The foray continues, enlisting MCU regulars (namely Loki and Hawkeye) and newcomers alike. And one such new direction will involve a beloved Marvel Comics miniseries: Secret Invasion.
Disney formally announced this project (among many others) during its Investor Day presentation in December 2020. Here’s some background on the source material and notes on the production as they hit the web.
What is Secret Invasion?
Marvel Comics published the eight-issue miniseries Secret Invasion between April and December 2008. Brian Michael Bendis, who wrote the series, developed its story as a direct follow-up to the 2006 storyline “Annihilation.” Beyond its eight issues, the series tied into numerous other concurrent Marvel Comics series, espousing a preemptive “The Infiltration” banner. Members of superhero teams including Mighty Avengers, New Avengers, Young Avengers, Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors, among others, were included in the story.
As mentioned, Disney has announced development on a television adaptation of the Secret Invasion arc. The project will span six episodes and will air (presumably weekly) on Disney+.
What is Secret Invasion about?
Bendis’ comic event tells the story of the Skrulls’ attempted invasion and conquest of the planet Earth. Using shapeshifting abilities, Skrulls take the form and identity of innumerous Earthlings, including top dollar Marvel figures. Skrull Empress-elect Veranke adopts the likeness of Spider-Woman, for instance, and sidles up to her superhero colleagues; over time, the Skrulls permeate additional groups like S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Fantastic Four.
That’s just the gist of the rising action. You can read a more in-depth discussion of Secret Invasion here.
What will the MCU’s Secret Invasion look like?
Captain Marvel sowed the seeds for a major Skrull-centric event in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The 2019 picture painted the shapeshifting alien race in a more empathetic light than the comics did; thus, Disney+’s Secret Invasion could well rework the premise of the arc significantly. As in the case of Captain Marvel, longtime MCU favorite Nick Fury will play an upsized role in Secret Invasion; likewise the film’s villain-turned-ally, the Skrull Talos.
In more literal terms, Disney+ has also shared a new logo for the show.
Who will star in Secret Invasion?
Samuel L. Jackson will bring Fury to life onscreen for Secret Invasion. Incidentally, this will mark the twelfth MCU project in which he’s played the character (not counting video games). Ben Mendelsohn, who played Talos in Captain Marvel and (briefly) in Spider-Man: Far from Home, will return as the surprisingly kindly Skrull. Cobie Smulders is also reprising her role as Maria Hill once more, per Deadline. Of course, we can’t have Nick Fury without Maria Hill at his side.
Right on the heels of Once Night in Miami’s Oscar nomination, Variety reported that the film’s star Kingsley Ben-Adir would join the Secret Invasion cast. His role is yet unknown, though reports suggest that he’ll play a villain. Meanwhile, another Oscar winner is joining the fray. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Olivia Colman is in talks to join the series in a role currently unspecified.
Game of Thrones alum Emilia Clarke and Dublin Murders star Killian Scott have also reportedly been cast, although their roles are also under wraps. Christopher McDonald has also joined the show, though we don’t know the role.
Who’s behind the scenes?
Kyle Bradstreet, writer and producer for Mr. Robot, is handling Secret Invasion‘s script. Thomas Bezucha (Let Him Go) and Ali Selim (The Looming Tower) will direct according to The Hollywood Reporter.
How will Secret Invasion connect to other MCU titles?
Given its reversal of traditional Kree-Skrull sympathies, Captain Marvel may be a wise place to look for hints about the forthcoming TV show. The conflict witnessed therein could likely bleed into the events of Secret Invasion; perhaps the Kree will serve as a villainous centerpiece.
We’ve already seen the fingerprints of the film on follow-up MCU venture Spider-Man: Far from Home. The end of the movie revealed Thalos using his lookalike powers to operate as an Earthbound Fury surrogate; meanwhile, Fury has apparently been kicking back up in space at S.W.O.R.D. headquarters. But that restful chapter has no doubt reached its end.
Given that the last sign of Skrullage we saw in the MCU came in the final moments of WandaVision, we may expect a narrative link between the two series; particularly, one that may involve S.W.O.R.D. Agent Monica Rambeau.
Originally published March 15, 2021.