While it has plenty of shortcomings, Marvel Comics’ 2008 comic book crossover event, Secret Invasion, could never be accused of not going big. Writer Brian Michael Bendis shot for the stars throughout the eight-issue limited series at the center of the event that culminated in a pair of major battles in New York City and the Savage Land. Just about every Marvel character you’ve ever heard of–and a few you probably haven’t–showed up in the event at one point or another in an effort to stop the Skrulls from taking over Earth.
In September of 2020, Marvel Studios began development on their adaption of Secret Invasion. The streaming series, set to debut on Disney Plus in the Summer of 2023, does share something in common with the comic book event as a faction of Skrulls has infiltrated positions of power around the globe and now looks to take Earth as their new home planet. As has been the case in almost every instance, however, Marvel Studios seems to have taken very little other than the title from the comic book event in adapting the storyline to the MCU.
The Disney Plus streaming series will see Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury, along with Ben Mendelsohn‘s Talos, at the center of the action. On the other side, Kingsley Ben-Adir‘s Gravik and a faction of extremist Skrulls, including Emilia Clarke‘s G’iah–the daughter of Talos–who have waited too long for Fury to make good on his promise of finding them a homeworld and have decided to take matters, and the Earth, into their own hands. Fury hasn’t been around much since the events of Avengers: Endgame and according to Jackson, there’s a great reason for that. “Even Nick Fury can be shaken, you know?” explained the MCU’s elder statesman.
Ever since first appearing in the MCU’s first post-credit scene in 2008’s Iron Man, Fury has been the man with the plan: putting together the Avengers to protect the Earth. With the core of that team now gone, Fury’s just never been the same. So what’s he going to do when the Skrulls show their hand? “What he’s not doing is calling in his super friends,” explains Jackson. “So that’s part of the whole dilemma. I mean, people want them and he’s not bringing them.“
And so Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion will significantly deviate course from the comic book event which had those “super friends” exclusively at its center. In place of those costumed heroes, Fury’s support in the paranoia-laden spy thriller will come in the form of a handful of others who are used to playing in the shadows. “Part of the fun of basing an espionage thriller around Nick Fury is getting to see him put the band together,” said executive producer Jonathan Schwartz in an interview with Vanity Fair. But just who is that band?
Cobie Smulders and Martin Freeman return to assist Fury in their respective roles as Maria Hill and Everett Ross. “There’s nobody here who’s glossy and ready for action in a spandex one-piece,” joked Smulders. “I mean, my wardrobe alone has changed so much since the original film. I was in platform knee-high boots and a skintight leotard in the Avengers movie. And I’m in a straight-up jeans and tee in this one.“
Hill and Ross aren’t the only ones Fury will turn to for help, though they may be the ones he can trust the most. Don Cheadle‘s James Rhodes is back for another turn in the MCU, though this time it’s not as the armored hero War Machine. “This is a different kind of Rhodey—a political animal and not, you know, a guy who has a special suit,” Jackson says. “He’s the president’s right-hand man in this. So he’s the guy that makes a lot of decisions—some good, some bad.” Rounding out Fury’s network is Olivia Colman‘s Sony Falsworth, “a high-ranking agent in the British Intelligence Service who has a past with Nick Fury,” according to Schwartz, whose interests may or may not always be aligned with Fury’s.
While avid readers of the comics and Wikipedia may be expecting a big superhero slugfest in Marvel Studios Secret Invasion, it doesn’t seem to be in the cards. “This is a Marvel story where the humans can shine,” explained Smulders. “Even though there are aliens, and there’s going to be extraordinary fight sequences, this is about people on the ground talking to each other, and interviewing people, and really doing hands-on work to get the information needed.” While fans may have to adjust their expectations for the series, it sounds like Fury and crew will still deliver something special when Secret Invasion hits Disney Plus this Summer.
Source: Vanity Fair