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Secret Invasion: Release date, cast, plot as reviews lands for MCU show

Marvel's Secret Invasion has potential to be the biggest Disney+ series so far

Watch the new trailer for 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.

Read more: Every upcoming MCU movie and TV show

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.

Secret Invasion release date

Secret Invasion (Marvel Studios)
Secret Invasion (Marvel Studios)

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.

Read more: The actors with the most MCU appearances

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 reviews

Secret Invasion (Disney+)
Secret Invasion (Disney+)

The reviews for Secret Invasion have started to emerge and by the sounds of it, Marvel fans are in for a treat, with many write-ups praising its innovative and fresh tone and thrilling twists.

Our own review highlights a career-best turn from S.H.I.E.L.D's battle-weary leader, explaining that "Jackson is mesmerising in this new chapter of the character's life."

Elsewhere, places like TVLine have compared its thrilling story to Star Wars series Andor, saying "the stakes are set in a dramatic way that you won’t see coming and that will feel like a punch in the gut." Currently, the show holds a solid 69% early score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Yahoo TV UK: The MCU enters a dark and thrilling new era (4 min read)

The Hollywood Reporter: Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury Gets a Middling Disney+ Vehicle (6 min read)

IndieWire: Marvel’s Superhero-Lite Spy Thriller Is High on Twists, Low on Wits (6 min read)

Total Film: "A promising start that breaks from the Marvel mould" (4 min read)

TV Line: With Nick Fury-Led Espionage Thriller, TV’s MCU Shapeshifts Into Something New and Deeper (4 min read)

Secret Invasion cast

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)

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.

Ben Mendelsohn as Talos/Keller in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Ben Mendelsohn as Talos/Keller in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney+)

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.

(L-R): Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
(L-R): Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney+)

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.

Read more: Armor Wars will 'surprise' Marvel fans

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.

Olivia Colman as Special Agent Sonya Falsworth in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Olivia Colman as Special Agent Sonya Falsworth in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney+)

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.

Emilia Clarke in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)
Emilia Clarke in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)

"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.”

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)
Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)

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.

Read more: Everything we know about Ant-Man 3

Happy Gilmore’s 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

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Rebel Skrull leader Gravik in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Kingsley Ben-Adir as Rebel Skrull leader Gravik. (Marvel Studios)

According to the first look preview by Vanity Fair, 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.

Samuel L Jackson stars in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)
Samuel L Jackson stars in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)

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.

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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.

Speaking at Comic-Con 2022, 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.”

(Marvel Studios)
(Marvel Studios)

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.

Cobie Smulders and Samuel L Jackson in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)
Cobie Smulders and Samuel L Jackson in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)

In fact, this was confirmed in a recent Secret Invasion cover story for Empire Magazine, 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."

Martin Freeman in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)
Martin Freeman in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)

Speaking of those with superhuman abilities, Jackson also teased the reasons behind the absence of The Avengers via USA Today, 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.

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion. (Marvel Studios)

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.”

Intriguing stuff.

Secret Invasion will stream on Disney+ from 21 June.

Watch Don Cheadle share a Secret Invasion update below