The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is welcoming another incredible TV show to their action-packed line-up with the limited series Secret Invasion. Fans of a certain eye patch-wearing secret agent are going to love this upcoming sci-fi TV show. Outlined at Marvel Studios' big event at San Diego Comic-Con (opens in new tab) in July 2022, you'll be able to find this new addition to the MCU, including several other new shows, on Disney Plus (opens in new tab).
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, out on February 17, 2023, will mark the beginning of Phase 5 of the MCU, with Phase 6 starting in early 2025 with a new Fantastic Four reboot (opens in new tab) unless plans change – there are rumors of Marvel Studios' movie and TV slate shifting again in the near future. Meanwhile, Secret Invasion is seemingly locked to rev up Phase 5 on Disney Plus with a high-stakes, sci-fi spy thriller.
Secret Invasion won’t deal with the multiverse, the main concept behind the current MCU saga. Instead, it’ll bridge Captain Marvel and its sequel, The Marvels, also coming out in 2023. Whether some elements from last year’s Ms. Marvel series have made it into Secret Invasion, we don’t know, though we’re leaning towards “no” as Kamala’s debut had nothing to do with Skrulls nor Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.
Read on below to learn more about Secret Invasion before it debuts in the coming months. And, if you need to catch up with Marvel’s theatrical releases before Phase 5 picks up the pace on the big screen, check out our guide to all the Marvel movies in order, including the epic Phase 4 finale, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Secret Invasion: Release date
Even though marketing for the series kicked off last year, Disney and Marvel still haven’t shared a definitive release date for the sci-fi thriller. We’re expecting final word on its arrival any day now.
As mentioned before, recent rumors point to Disney and Marvel Studios making some big changes yet again to their release schedule for the next three years or so. As a result, shows such as Echo – set to connect Hawkeye and Daredevil: Born Again – could even slip into early 2024. We believe Secret Invasion shouldn’t face big delays, since it’s deep into post-production now, and we’re expecting a Q2 2023 premiere.
Secret Invasion: Plot
To properly theorize on Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion adaptation, we have to go back to 2008’s limited, eight-issue comic book crossover of the same name by Brian Michael Bendis. The story dealt with a subversive invasion of planet Earth by the evil Skrulls, the alien shapeshifters we first met in the MCU through Captain Marvel (2019). In that movie, they were presented as the unquestionable villains (much like in the comics), but – spoilers ahead – the story’s biggest twist revealed those Skrulls were actually refugees seeking shelter from the warmongering Kree Empire.
Of course, we’re talking about an entire alien species, so maybe we’re now going to meet the extremist, nefarious side of their crumbling civilization. A betrayal is almost out of the question (you never really know with Skrulls) as Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos is seen willingly collaborating with Nick Fury in the promotional material. Plus, he and other friendly Skrulls took over Fury’s entire SHIELD operation during the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home while the usual director was overseeing an important project in space.
The biggest departure from the source material comes from the lack of big-name superheroes in this adaptation – Don Cheadle’s James Rhodes aka War Machine is in the show though. Instead, it appears Marvel boss Kevin Feige and the showrunner have chosen to tell a thinner spy thriller with a good dose of X-Files DNA. That being said, Secret Invasion could have a huge impact on the current MCU, much like the big Hydra reveal in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. How many big players aren’t who we think they are?
Secret Invasion: Trailers
The first Secret Invasion trailer (opens in new tab) was released online on September 10, 2022:
Since we’re probably looking at a Q2 2023 release date, a second, meatier trailer should arrive soon, giving us the final date and expanding on what’s really going on in the limited series. With Disney Plus’ marketing efforts now all over The Mandalorian season 3, which opens in March, we might have to wait a while though.
Secret Invasion: Cast
Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Ben Mendelsohn (Talos), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes), and Martin Freeman (Everett K. Ross) are the returning cast members we know of at the moment of writing. For Jackson, this is the third time he appears in a Marvel TV series, since he had a guest role in ABC’s Agents of SHIELD (like Smulders) and the What If…? animated series.
They’re joined by Game of Thrones icon Emilia Clarke in a role rumored to be that of SWORD commanding officer Abigail Brand from the comics, plus Kingsley Ben-Adir as the Skrull leader Gravik, Olivia Colman as Special Agent Sonya Falsworth, Christopher McDonald, Carmen Ejogo, and Killian Scott, among others.
Secret Invasion: Directors, writers, and crew
Copper and Mr. Robot writer Kyle Bradstreet is the creator and head writer of the six-episode limited series, also serving as executive producer alongside Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, and Jonathan Schwartz.
The full roster of directors hasn’t been unveiled, but we know that Thomas Bezucha (Monte Carlo, Let Him Go) and Ali Selim (61st Street, The Calling) have helmed episodes of the show.
Reshoots which happened in summer 2022 were said to have enlisted a new writer to work on the new material, but their name didn’t leak. Moreover, we don’t know who wrote the main scripts for the series besides Bradstreet. Secret Invasion has fittingly been quite secretive so far.
Cinematography has been handled by Sylvaine Dufaux (Alert) and Remi Adefarasin (Locked Down). The production design comes from renowned art director Frank Walsh (High-Rise, Carnival Row), with costumes by Claire Anderson (Good Omens, Black Mirror).