Earlier this year, trades broke the news that 2020 breakout star Kingsley Ben-Adir would be joining the cast of Marvel Studios Disney Plus streaming series Secret Invasion as a villain set to go up against Nick Fury and his Skrull buddy Talos. The 35-year old actor landed a role for which Marvel Studios had checked on names such as Gary Oldman (who the studio has been interested in for several roles) and hoped for star power on the level of Denzel Washington. In short, this is a major Marvel Cinematic Universe role, but one about we know very little. Murphy’s Multiverse has uncovered a bit of information on Ben-Adir’s role and how it connects to Killian Scott’s, who joined the cast last Spring.
As fans have speculated, Ben-Adir is indeed playing a Skrull that will find himself up against Nick Fury and Talos throughout the series. The interesting bit here, however, is that Ben-Adir’s Skrull character will be revealed to have a long history with Ben Mendelsohn‘s Talos. Prior to the Kree Accusers’ destruction of the Skrull’s homeworld of Skrullos, Talos was a Skrullian general who had spent his lifetime fighting in the Kree-Skrull War working alongside Kree scientist Mar-Vell to find refuge for a group of Skrulls. Given the Skrull’s generational hatred for the Kree, it seems very likely that Ben-Adir’s Skrull character might find Talos’ taste in allies unsavory.
While Marvel Studios is working to keep the identity of Ben-Adir’s character a secret, the fact that he has a history with Talos could give fans clues as to who he might be portraying. Given it’ll have been at least 30 years since the destruction of Skrulls, it’s reasonable to assume that other Skrulls could have reestablished themselves elsewhere, perhaps Tarnax IV, and readied their invasion of Earth.
If that’s the case, Ben-Adir could be portraying the Skrull spy Paibok, who was himself a Skrullian military captain in the comics. Should they, however, wish to take the “go big or go home route,” Ben-Adir could be portraying one of the Skrull’s most decorated military heroes: Kl’rt. While most people know Kl’rt as the Super-Skrull, it wasn’t until later in his career that he became the first Skrull to carry that designation after being granted the combined powers of the Fantastic Four. Then again, it may be premature to introduce the Super-Skrull version of Kl’rt before the Fantastic Four are established. However, having a disgraced Kl’rt return home with his tail between his legs might give him the necessary motivation to become “super” in the future.
Joining Ben-Adir’s Skrull in his battle against Fury and Talos will be Scott’s character. While his identity is similarly a tightly kept secret, his character is a crony of Ben-Adir’s, meaning he’s likely a Skrull himself. Given Scott’s very everyman looks, he’s possibly playing someone like Klrr. In the comics, Klrr is a Skrull spy who infiltrated Stark Industries and whose family, under the guise of the Warners, helped prepare for a Skrull invasion. Old rumors pointed to the 2019 series Meet the Skrulls as a potential inspiration for Marvel Studios Secret Invasion, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see some of those characters, like Klrr who posed as Carl Warner, show up here.
While some fans are still expecting a direct adaptation of the Secret Invasion comic event and looking for an Avenger cameo-fest, Kevin Feige has stated the MCU adaptation will play heavily with the themes of distrust and paranoia. On that note, fans can look forward to Christopher McDonald throwing gas on the fire as a discord-sewing, “tough talk” talking head TV figure. This one is starting to sound like it’s going to be a blast.
Secret Invasion is expected to stream sometime in the second half of 2022.