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Secret Invasion: Everything you need to know about Marvel's upcoming Disney+ miniseries

The Skrulls are hidden throughout the MCU already, but who can you trust?

Secret Invasion
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Those who know comics well have been looking forward to some kind of Secret Invasion to happen in the MCU since even before the first Skrull showed up on screen in 2019's Captain Marvel. Of course, part of the Skulls' shape-shifting abilities means that we might have seen them well before Captain Marvel.

That's all coming to a head with the 2023 TV show Secret Invasion on Disney+. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, once again reprising his role as Nick Fury), Secret Invasion takes its cues from the popular '00s Marvel Comic event of the same name to uncover a Invasion of the Body-Snatchers (or the Faculty) style conspiracy where secret agents are hiding amongst the MCU in the very top echelons of power.

Ahead of its upcoming debut, Popverse is running down all the big questions you have about Secret Invasion - along with the answers, and educated speculation, as it comes along.

What is the Secret Invasion release date?

What Disney is describing as a “crossover event series” is scheduled to launch on Disney+ on June 21, 2023.

What is the Secret Invasion plot?

Still image of Rhodey wearing a suit and sitting at a white tableclothed table facing Nick Fury
Image credit: Disney+

Secret Invasion is inspired by a 2008 comics storyline in which shape shifting aliens (the Skrulls) are revealed to have infiltrated even the close ranks of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes a.k.a. The Avengers. As the Skrulls begin an outward invasion of Earth, it is quickly revealed to our protagonists, that the Skrull's have already been here, as imposters, for years.

In the MCU version of the story, the Skrulls have grown tired of waiting for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to fulfill the promise he made at the end of 2019’s Captain Marvel, wherein he swore to help the Skrulls find a new homeworld — so tired, in fact, that a radicalized faction led by Gravik (Kinglsey Ben-Adir) has decided to go for the next best thing: taking over Earth and transforming that into the new Skrull homeward, instead.

If Fury hopes to save humanity, he’ll have to not only defeat Gravik’s Skrull army, but also the suspicion and paranoia of his former friends and allies who have lost faith in the former leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. — especially given that, as revealed in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, the “Nick Fury” who’s been running around on Earth in recent years has actually been a disguised Skull all along.

Disney's official description of the series runs as follows: "In Marvel Studios’ new series 'Secret Invasion,' set in the present day MCU, Nick Fury learns of a clandestine invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls. Fury joins his allies, including Everett Ross, Maria Hill and the Skrull Talos, who has made a life for himself on Earth. Together they race against time to thwart an imminent Skrull invasion and save humanity."

Is there a Secret Invasion trailer?

The first trailer for Secret Invasion debuted at the 2022 D23 Expo. The trailer features Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, and Colbie Smulders as they grapple with and battle the invasion that the shape-shifting Skrulls have already begun on Earth. We also see peeks of dramatic performances from Ben Mendelsohn and Olivia Colman.

Watch on YouTube

A second video was released in early April, featuring many of the same scenes as the first but offering more context for the series as a whole:

Watch on YouTube

Can I watch the first five minutes of Secret Invasion?

A promotional image puzzle featuring notes on a corkboard connected with string
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Interestingly enough, yes. On June 8, Marvel shared a link as well as an image that fans could "decipher" to find the password that would allow them to watch the first five minutes of the show.

We managed to decipher the code for you. To watch the first five minutes of Secret Invasion, go to http://theinvasionhasbegun.com/ and type in the passcode: RSD3PX5N7S.

Is there a Secret Invasion poster?

Why, yes:

Secret Invasion
Image credit: Marvel Studios

In fact, there are two; the second was released June 7, two weeks before the show's debut:

Secret Invasion Poster 2
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

What role is Emilia Clarke playing in Secret Invasion?

Despite earlier rumors that Clarke would be playing longstanding X-Men supporting character Abigail Brand in the series, a recent Vanity Fair story instead revealed that the Game of Thrones actor would in fact be playing G’iah, one of Gravik’s band of Skrull radicals who has a particular tie to MCU history. “Remember when Ben [Mendelsohn, who played Talos in Captain Marvel] was there with his wife and daughter?” asked Samuel L. Jackson, referring to the 2019 movie. “She’s the little Skrull girl grown up. She’s his daughter.”

That growing up process wasn’t easy, according to Clarke: “It’s hardened her, for sure,” the actress told Vanity Fair. “These people promised a lot of stuff a long time ago, and not a lot has happened. So, understandably, a certain amount of resentment has been built. There’s a lot of emotions that live within her, and there’s a lot of confrontational aspects to her character that have com from circumstance. You understand why she has the feelings that she does.”

Who is in the Secret Invasion cast?

Still image of Olivia Colman in Secret Invasion holding up a vial
Image credit: Disney+

The Secret Invasion cast is made up of plenty of MCU alums, as well as some fresh faces. The Secret Invasion cast includes Jackson (Nick Fury), Ben Mendelsohn (Talos), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Martin Freeman (Everett Ross), and Don Cheadle (James Rhodes). New additions to the MCU include Clarke, Ben-Adir, Dermot Mulroney, and the wonderful Olivia Colman as Sonya Falsworth. In the aforementioned Vanity Fair piece, Jackson described Colman’s character — an MI6 agent who has a history with Nick Fury — as “cold-blooded and just relishes being that person.”

Disney's official cast list line-up for the show is: Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Cobie Smulders, Martin Freeman, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Charlayne Woodard, Killian Scott, Samuel Adewunmi, Dermot Mulroney, Christopher McDonald, Katie Finneran, with Emilia Clarke and Olivia Colman, and Don Cheadle.

Who are the Secret Invasion creators?

Kyle Bradstreet (Mr. Robot) is the lead writer and executive producer for the series. The director for the show is Ali Selim (The Calling).

Curiously, Thomas Bezucha (Let Him Go) was mentioned in reports as directing a number of episodes for the series, but he is not mentioned by Disney as being involved in the show.

According to Disney, executive producers of the show are: Kevin Feige, Jonathan Schwartz, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Samuel L. Jackson, Ali Selim, Kyle Bradstreet and Brian Tucker, with Jennifer L. Booth, Allana Williams and Brant Englestein serving as co-executive producers.

What are the Secret Invasion episodes?

There will be six episodes of Secret Invasion. There has been no list released of episode titles as of yet.

What do I watch in order to prepare for Secret Invasion?

Still image of Nick Fury in a beanie looking over his shoulder
Image credit: Disney+

One of the interesting aspects of Secret Invasion is that it is pulling multiple characters from multiple parts of the MCU with Rhodey, mostly from the Iron Man franchise, starring alongside Nick Fury, who is scattered throughout the breadth of the MCU. In this series, we will also see Black Panther's Everett Ross, The Avengers' Maria Hill, and Talos from Captain Marvel, and hopefully some other unannounced characters to.

Just based on what we know about the storyline and major players, it would probably be a safe bet to assume that Captain Marvel is a must watch before Secret Invasion, but it might also be good to rewatch the Iron Man and recent Avengers movies if you want to get a good handle on where Rhodey is as a character. (He's been through a lot.)

Similarly, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever should be considered important to review to catch up on Everett Ross’s current status.

Will there be a Secret Invasion season 2?

As of writing, Secret Invasion has only ever been spoken about by those involved as a six-episode miniseries, which would suggest that a second season isn’t likely… but not impossible, given that Loki was also initially spoken about as a miniseries, with a second season announced at the end of its so-called final episode.

There's been inklings that it is planned to be a set-up for the as-yet-unscheduled MCU movie Armor Wars starring Cheadle as Rhodes, which was originally planned as a Disney+ series.

How does Secret Invasion fit into the MCU?

Still image of a dark paneled room with Maria Hill sitting to the side
Image credit: Disney+

Skrulls are not new to the MCU. They made their first revealed appearance in Captain Marvel with Ben Mendelsohn as a refugee Skrull named Talos — but who knows who's a Skrull these days, and which familiar character fans have known and loved might have been an undercover Skrull all along? Since Captain Marvel, we've seen several mentions and appearances of the Skrulls, with the reveal that who we thought was Nick Fury in Spider-Man: Far From Home was actually Talos shapeshifting to look like Fury.

Traditionally, the hook of the comics version of Secret Invasion was figuring out who was a human and who was a Skrull in disguise. We can assume that the same will be true for at least a part of the series, and expect a couple of character cameos from other MCU projects.

What Marvel Comics is Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion based on?

Still image of a Skrull shouting
Image credit: Disney+

Secret Invasion was an eight-issue limited series from Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu, Mark Morales, and Laura Martin which crossed over throughout the Marvel universe and revealed that the shape-shifting alien race the Skrulls have successfully infiltrated some of the most powerful organizations on Earth, including the Avengers.

The series was set as a paranoid thriller, highlighting the concept of "Who do you trust?" as Marvel's superheroes fought a war against an enemy that had already infiltrated their ranks.


Want to get an eye on the future of the superhero film landscape? Check out the Popverse guide to upcoming superhero movie release dates for Marvel, DC, and more