Everything we know about Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion: Release date, plot & more

A still from Secret Invasion, a TV show from Marvel Studios. Silhouette of a man standing against a white background.,
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

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 in July 2022, you'll be able to find this new addition to the MCU, including several other new shows, on Disney Plus.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania marked the beginning of Phase 5 of the MCU, with Phase 6 starting in early 2025 with a new Fantastic Four reboot 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 when it launches this summer.

Update (4/4/23): We've updated this article to reflect the latest trailer and release date reveal.

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

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 June. 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

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

We now finally have a definitive release date for Secret Invasion thanks to the second trailer. Secret Invasion will be launching on June 21 on Disney+. 

Like other MCU shows on the service, the entire season should drop at once so you won't have to wait for weeks to see the whole thing.

Secret Invasion: Plot

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

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 was released online on September 10, 2022:

The second trailer was released on March 3, 2023. We got a much longer look at the show this time around and some hints as to what the plot might be delivering. This trailer was also the announcement for the June 21 release date.

Secret Invasion: Cast

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

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.

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Secret Invasion: Directors, writers, and crew

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

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).

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Fran Ruiz

Fran Ruiz is our resident Star Wars guy. His hunger for movies and TV series is only matched by his love for video games. He got a BA of English Studies, focusing on English Literature, from the University of Malaga, in Spain, as well as a Master's Degree in English Studies, Multilingual and Intercultural Communication. On top of writing features and other longform articles for Space.com since 2021, he is a frequent collaborator of VG247 and other gaming sites. He also serves as associate editor over at Star Wars News Net and its sister site, Movie News Net.