Marvel’s Secret Invasion: Movie Release date, cast, plot, and spoilers

Marvel’s ‘Secret Invasion’

Kyle Bradstreet’s Secret Invasion will be the first MCU TV show of Phase five when it lands on Disney+ this June, and it has the potential to be a massive hit.

The idea of giving Marvel mainstay Nick Fury his own standalone has been in the works since before the MCU even existed, but now, Samuel L. Jackson will finally get his time to shine.

Secret Invasion will continue the plot threads of Fury’s work with the Skrulls in Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home, with the one-eyed, former director of S.H.I.E.L.D., returning as a more grizzled version.

For those disappointed that Captain Marvel revamped the shape-shifting Skrulls from villainous aliens into downtrodden refugees, Secret Invasion will introduce a rogue sect of those green-skinned baddies that will be more familiar to comic fans.

Taking top billing, Samuel L. Jackson is back for his fourteenth MCU project. We’ve seen a few shots of a dishevelled Fury, showing he’s been through a lot since we left him in the depths of space.

Also back for more, Ben Mendelsohn reprises his role as good-guy Skrull, Talos. The last time we saw Talos, he’d been masquerading as Fury while the real one took a well-earned vacation in the cosmos.

It wouldn’t be right without Agent Maria Hill by Fury’s side, so it’s no surprise Cobie Smulders is back as his second-in-command. While we know Fury was taking it easy in space, it’s less clear where Hill has been when Talos’ wife (Soren) was pretending to be her.

In terms of other MCU staples, Martin Freeman and Don Cheadle also have a part to play as Everett K. Ross and James “Rhodey” Rhodes

Ross had a major part to play in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and despite being arrested by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), he was then freed by Okoye (Danai Gurira). As for Rhodes, he had a minor part in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and is poised to lead the Armor Wars movie.

In terms of newcomers, we have some A-list talent in the form of Olivia Colman playing MI6 agent Sonya Falsworth. The Oscar-winning actor portrays a former ally of Fury, but if we’ve learned anything from the MCU’s first four phases: it’s to trust no one.

The most intriguing casting is Games of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke, who has been confirmed to be playing Skrull radical G’iah, the daughter of Talos.

“There’s a kind of punk feeling that you get from this girl,” Clarke told Vanity Fair. “She’s a refugee kid who’s had Talos for a dad, you know what I mean? Maybe the fact that we didn’t know he had a kid up until this point tells you everything you need to know about their relationship.”

Finally, we have our big bad — played by Kingsley Ben-Adir. The Peaky Blinders actor stars as Gravik, who is the leader of the rogue Skrulls in Secret Invasion.

Christopher McDonald and True Detective’s Carmen Ejogo also have mysterious roles, however, McDonald previously downplayed rumours he’s playing Norman Osborn in the MCU’s main canon.

Secret Invasion plot

Secret Invasion will follow Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury as he uncovers a conspiracy to install shape-shifting double agent Skrulls into positions of power across the globe. It’s being described as a Cold War style espionage thriller that will also reveal more about Fury’s mysterious past.

“We were really inspired by shows like Homeland and The Americans,” producer Jonathan Schwartz said. “What you find is there are people that you trust or you think you can trust—or you can only trust to a certain point.”

After being allies with the Skrulls during the events of Captain Marvel, Fury had promised to find a home for the displaced alien race, but it’s not gone well. In Secret Invasion, a sect of extremists arise, led by Kingsley Ben-Adir’s Gravik who moves to take control of resources they need.

In the first Secret Invasion trailer, we see a disgruntled Hill calling Fury out for having avoided Earth for years, with the latter saying, “Yeah, well, this is different.” It looks like your typical otherworldly threat, but with Fury not even bothering to wear his signature eyepatch, this one is serious.

The official synopsis describes this as a crossover event, which would explain why the likes of Hill, Ross, and Rhodes are teaming up with Fury. Rhodey is warned he can’t trust his security detail, while Talos looks at war with his own kind.

Smulders said, “You’re never going to know who people are. Are they a Skrull? Are they a human? It’s going to be a bit of a guessing game.”

With anyone being a potential shapeshifter in disguise, we wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Ross was exposed as a sneaky Skrull. Also, with Dermot Mulroney expected to play President Ritson, he’s another major candidate.

MCU overlord Kevin Feige has said at least some of Secret Invasion is set during the Blip — which simplifies things — but with both Fury and Hull being dusted by Thanos’ snap, the bulk of the story can’t take place here.

Given that Secret Invasion is set to release before Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels, it’s also likely the two projects are linked in some way.

In fact, this was confirmed in a recent Secret Invasion cover story in which Jackson revealed “This series has to happen so that The Marvels can happen. All these things are connected in an interesting sort of way,”

The outlet also pointed to the series’ dark, unpredictable tone, citing the “unforeseen ramifications of its heroes’ actions.” In the same piece, Jackson shed some more light on his portrayal of an older, more vulnerable Fury: “All those things are part of a Nick Fury that’s invulnerable,” he told the magazine.

“Here you have a guy who’s showing his face, and showing his age. It’s an opportunity to humanise someone that everybody thinks is superhuman.”

He added: “It’s great to have an opportunity to find out who he was and delve into how much of a toll his job actually takes on his personal life.”

Speaking of those with superhuman abilities, Jackson also teased the reasons behind the absence of The Avengers explaining that we’ll find Fury “back having lost whatever power he had before, so we tried to solve things without being too superhuman.”

Where has he been? Well, Empire explained that too, revealing that Fury had been enjoying some down time aboard a Skrull ship “nursing a coconut cocktail on virtual-reality sands” before Skrull business pulled him back into action.

Meanwhile, his co-star Cheadle hit home the ways in which Secret Invasion aims to present a Marvel story with a distinctly different flavour. “Looking at the MCU through these different lenses, you get to see all these different sides of the characters, so we get to really sort of dig into who they are,” he told Empire.

However, at its core, Secret Invasion looks set to keep audiences guessing, with Smulders reiterating the idea that “You could be talking to be somebody you have a very close relationship with and then you find out that that’s not who you thought it was.”

Secret Invasion Spoilers and review

‘Secret Invasion’ Review: Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn Lead a Thrilling Conspiracy Story

Marvel Studios’ latest small-screen outing is a gritty and grounded spy series that plays on paranoia.

It’s a dark and gritty new route for the MCU, with comparisons to Star Wars: Andor.

Having seen the first two episodes of Secret Invasion, I can say that it does indeed live up to that tone and style. Much like that movie, the show presents itself as a gritty and grounded spy thriller with all the double-crosses and neat twists you’d associate with a classic in the genre. It even has the one-liners down! It feels like a Marvel movie (not just because it has longer episodes), and I can’t wait to see more.

We liken the Marvel series headed up by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury as being the “MCU’s Andor.” For those who don’t dabble in more than one big franchise, Andorwas the his series based in the Star Wars universe, which is considered to be one of the best shows to have been set in the long-running Lucasfilm franchise.

Secret Invasion is based on the Marvel Comic arc of the same name, which saw a legion of Skrulls taking over the identities of many prominent people on Earth to infiltrate and control it. Although it is not known how closely this version of the story will follow the comics, there are plenty of Marvel crossovers and cameos to watch out for, as well as the series setting up the return of Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel in The Marvels later this year.

“Secret Invasion is the real deal. Well directed, shot, choreographed & written. Sets up the main conflict and villain early on. Winter Soldier, Civil War vibes. In terms of quality, feels like Marvel’s Andor. But 6 [episodes] so it moves faster & has some massive WTF moments throughout. Why I said Secret Invasion is like Marvel’s Andor is because it feels like more thought and time were put into this show than others. There are very few weaknesses, and the actual filmmaking is top class, and most importantly it feels more human than anything else MCU recently.”

Secret Invasion is extremely intriguing, but it does take a second to get there. The story is a bit of a slow burn at the beginning, which may throw off some viewers. The first episode is more introductory (even though it has a surprise at the end that I didn’t see coming), but the second one is where things start to sizzle — and without giving away any spoilers, I can say that the ending of Episode 2 does add a whole new layer to the plot. If there’s one aspect of its genre where Secret Invasion absolutely hits the nail on the head, it’s the paranoia. Right from the opening scene, it’s clear that you, the viewer, can’t trust anyone. I found myself suspecting each and every allegedly human character who appeared on-screen, wondering which of them may be Skrull spies. It succeeds in setting up a credible high-stakes villain without threatening entire timelines, largely thanks to the face of the Skrull Rebellion, Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir).

The biggest stand-out of the series is Olivia Colman, who plays a cheeky and efficient spy, MI6’s Sonya Falsworth. She’s an absolute delight, and she definitely has ulterior motives that go beyond Gravik and the Skrulls. Colman’s MCU debut is something fans have been looking forward to, and she does not disappoint, giving us a likable but ruthless wildcard. Emilia Clarke and Ben Mendelsohn also put on engaging performances as Skrulls caught between the ambitions of their people and their dreams of a better world. Mendelsohn’s Talos holds the whole heart of the story, and Secret Invasion is as much his show as it is Fury’s. In returning MCU faces (other than Mendelsohn and Jackson), Secret Invasion boasts Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, and Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, who’s traded in his War Machine suit for Brioni and is now on the frontlines of a political battlefield due to the actions of Fury and the Skrulls.

Based on what I’ve seen of Secret Invasion at the time of writing this review, it’s a stylish thriller perfect for fans of Marvel’s spy stories. It also feels like a series for people who like shows like The Terminal List and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. It takes things back to the street level and delivers something that feels like what the MCU used to be — and in the process, it also has some cutting insights to share about the state of the world, the treatment of refugees, and how broken promises break the world. It’s still got some distance to go before one can call it a great series, but it shows potential. The coming weeks are looking good.

What does Secret Invasion mean for the greater MCU, the bigger, wider, universe-spanning canvas? That’s a little more difficult to tell so far, but this show may yet have a ripple effect on upcoming projects like Armor Wars and Thunderbolts, seeing as how it features the star of one and the world of the other. Personally, I’m hoping Secret Invasion signals a change in strategy for Marvel Studios, with a better focus on each individual film and show. The studio recently revamped its schedule for Phase 5 and Phase 6, which suggests they’re going to start taking more time with each project. If that’s the case, it could mean good things. It might even make a new Marvel release something to look forward to again, rather than something that happens every few months.

Rating: B+

Secret Invasion premieres June 21 on Disney+, with episodes released weekly every Wednesday until July 26.

Secret Invasion release date

For those who can’t wait to see how Nick Fury gets his groove back, Secret Invasion will stream on Disney+ from Wednesday, 21 June.

Similar to the likes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki season one, Secret Invasion will consist of six episodes.

Bradstreet, known for his work on Mr. Robot, will be joined by Thomas Bezucha (Let Him Go) and Ali Selim (The Looming Tower) as directors. Like other Disney+ releases, Secret Invasion will likely drop episodes on a weekly basis.

Secret Invasion will stream on Disney+ from 21 June.


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Stevie Flavio
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