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Secret Invasion Cast and Crew on the Disney+ Series

Vital Thrills recently got a chance to attend a press conference with the cast and crew of Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion, the new series on Disney+. In the show, debuting on June 21, 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.

Secret Invasion Cast and Crew on the Disney+ Series

Attending the press conference were Secret Invasion stars Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Don CheadleBen Mendelsohn, Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke, and Kingsley Ben-Adir.

Director Ali Selim, producer Kevin Feige, and producer Jonathan Schwartz were also present.

Secret Invasion Cast and Crew

Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, gave us some background on where we find his character now. “This is my second appearance post-snap, and he’s been kinda gone for a while,” he said.

“He’s a little tired, a little vulnerable, but coming back to Earth because he’s been summoned. And we’ll see what happens. Got a bad knee now. Not so happy.”

Secret Invasion Cast and Crew

Ben Mendelsohn plays Talos the Skrull and joked that his appearance in the Spider-Man: Far From Home post-credits scene was more work. “That was a much harder job for me. But, we’re finding Talos in a difficult time.

“Like, you’re not gonna get this spoiler out of me, so stop trying to give me that funny spoiler vibe thing. It’s a bad time, you know? It’s a bad time. And by the way, him, you know, up there? Like, coulda used him. Like, I’m just sayin’.”

Secret Invasion Cast and Crew

Cobie Smulders, who plays Maria Hill, said working with Jackson was her “favorite thing” and that, “it was really exciting to come back, but speaking of, again, about strain, I think the relationship is quite strained because she’s been calling, and he hasn’t been answering.”

Don Cheadle returns as James “Rhodey” Rhodes in Secret Invasion. “I think we’re just kind of finding out what’s happening with Rhodey as this series goes on. He’s in a different role. We see him as more a political animal than we have in the past. He’s been more of a military man, but now he’s sort of, you know, in some ways, a right hand of the president and this special envoy, in that regard.

Secret Invasion Cast and Crew

The actor continued: “But I think what I’m looking forward to is just seeing more,you know, getting under the hood of who he is and seeing how this relationship, not only with Nick Fury, but the other cast members evolves.”

As far as where the show fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline, producer Jonathan Schwartz said, “It’s present day MCU, is what we’re calling it.So it exists basically along the timeline that the shows come out in. So post-She-Hulk, post-blip right at this exact, present day in the MCU. I think that’s all I can say.”

Jackson spoke about getting to know the character more. “The more you find out about him, then the more you’re gonna like him. The more I like him. It’s peeling the onion and having a good time. You meet people that I know, and I never had an in-depth scene with Don.

“So that was, like, you know, manna. We’ve been waiting to do this for, like, years and years and years, you know? So it was wonderful to do and to have that little abrasive thing happen there, you know?

“It’s kinda great and kinda nice to know that we have that kind of relationship, or I assumed it was that. And that’s some new information. We get other new information. We go to his house, you know. We don’t know if it’s a condo.

“You got to watch to find out if I live in a condo or a real house. See if I have a yard, you know? So that kinda stuff. What kind of furniture does Nick Fury have, you know? Does he have an island in his kitchen? Can he cook?”

Emilia Clarke plays G’iah and talked about what got her to join the MCU. “All the people sitting right here. Like, literally. Who on Earth would ever not want to be sitting here with this? With all of these incredible people? It’s like, even just a single one of these people on their own is enough. Altogether, it’s completely undeniable. So yeah, that’s why.”

Olivia Colman plays MI6 agent Sonya Falsworth and Jackson joked about their character’s chemistry saying that there was a love scene cut. Colman laughed, “I’m not sure it made the final edit, though. I don’t know. I can’t really think about Fury and Sonya. I was just so excited to meet Samuel L. Jackson.

The actress added: “They have a lovely friendship. Although, she does quite like to bully you with her heavies. Doesn’t strike me as much of a friendship, but they’ve got history. They trust each other, which is, I think, I mean, I’d say that. Maybe they don’t. [laugh] Oh, God.”

Marvel President Kevin Feige said of the role this show plays in the larger MCU, “Well, there are story points that people will see of the course of the series, obviously. But Jonathan came into my office a number of years ago, when we were thinking about what kinds of shows to do on Disney+. And he came in with this idea of translating the great Secret Invasion storyline from the comics in a darker, grittier spy show, which we hadn’t done. 

Feige continued: “And we love to do different genres for everything, and this was an attempt to really dive back into things we touched upon in The Winter Soldier, Captain America 2, but hadn’t in a while, and really delving into the tone of a spy show. And seeing a very different dynamic between Fury and Talos than we had seen in sort of our ’90s buddy action movie, Captain Marvel.”

Director Ali Selim said of the show, “I think it’s a very human show. It’s the Nick Fury story. He’s a human. He does have his own version of superpowers, but they’re not like superhero superpowers. And it’s a story about him putting his feet back on the ground once again after some time.

“And I like that because I like human stories that come from the heart and are human-scaled and reach for a universal appeal rather than the reverse of that. And I liked the espionage, political-thriller element, and we went back to look at The Third Man, and The Conversation, and things like that are very grounded and really human. And I hope that we brought enough of that to create the tone.

“And then there is, without spoiler alert, there is a point in the story where Nick Fury realizes this is his own battle, and he sort of becomes a classic American western hero. And the tone sort of shifted in the later episodes to Nick Fury as John Wayne.”

Kingsley Ben-Adir, who plays Gravik, talked about who his character is. He said, “I think to begin with, we had many conversations for hours at the beginning, like, just like Gravik, I don’t really trust why anything was coming to me. But, yeah, he just felt like a part that I hadn’t sort of been approached for before. There was an opportunity to do so in a little bit different with this one.”

Feige spoke about taking the big Secret Invasion comic event and turning it into this series. He said, “Well, that was always the idea. We knew we weren’t going to have every character in the Marvel Universe the way it is in the comics, and it really was to focus on Sam Jackson and really to focus on this ensemble that you see here today, in that as we said political sort of thriller aspect to it. And we had an amazing group of writers and our amazing director, who helped us shepherd it all.”

Schwartz spoke about when the idea for Secret Invasion came about. “I think if you really go back, it did kind of start on Captain Marvel, even if it wasn’t a Secret Invasion idea yet. I think it was the idea that there was more to do with this relationship and with these two characters, with Nick and with Talos. And then we started,the Disney+ door sort of opened up and we got the opportunity to kind of play more in genres and expand the sandbox of what we can do.

“And that made Secret Invasion by itself a story that A, had great source material behind it and was a comic event that a lot of people knew and responded to, and was a very cool genre, specifically for these two characters. And I think that’s what really brought the show to life.”