No one is who they seem in the upcoming MCU series.
Marvel's Secret Invasion is almost here -- and no one is who they seem!
The upcoming Disney+ series will bring Nick Fury back into the fold in a big way, as his alliance with the alien Skrull race comes under fire. It seems the shape-shifting visitors have infiltrated Earth, placing themselves in positions of power and carrying out violent attacks in order to save their own civilization.
Trailers and preview clips have shown that Fury doesn't take the threat lightly, preparing himself for "one last fight" -- this time, without the help of the remaining Avengers.
While details about the series are -- naturally, thanks to its title -- being kept under wraps, MCU star Cobie Smulders told ET at Comic-Con 2022 that Secret Invasion would reveal the "magnitude" of the Skrulls' clandestine occupation of Earth.
"The Skrulls are here. They're here, baby, and they want to stay," Smulders teased. "We got introduced to them in Captain Marvel, which was in the '90s. And they’ve been sort of percolating into our planet and they've been taking human form, so we haven’t really known the magnitude of their presence. But we're learning that in the series."
"[Nick Fury] has a really long history with the Skrulls," she added. "He sort of feels responsibility towards them, and he feels like he owes them a debt. So, it's really, really complicated."
Read on for all that we know about the upcoming top-secret series, which premieres June 21 on Disney+.
RETURNING MCU STARS
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
The former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been off the grid for some time at the start of Secret Invasion, working with the Skrulls in deep space following the tragic events of Avengers: Endgame. His return, to get to the bottom of multiple terror attacks on Earth -- which some believe are the work of the Skrulls, trying to seize positions of power through their shape-shifting abilities -- is a personal one for Fury, diving into his complicated past in an attempt to salvage the future of humanity.
"I didn't have a lot, but I knew that that was a different arc," Jackson told ET of bringing back the character, a bit worse for the wear. "It was a Nick that, deep inside me, I knew, but not a Nick that I'd ever shared."
Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill
A former high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Hill has appeared in several MCU films, though she hasn't had a major supporting role in one since 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Secret Invasion will reportedly feature her more prominently, and also explain why she and Fury have been out of contact.
Ben Mendelsohn as Talos
First introduced in Captain Marvel, Talos has become an ally of Fury's over the years, leading his Skrull sect and also assuming human form while on Earth. A post-credits scene in Spider-Man: Far From Home also revealed that Talos and his wife, Soren, have assumed Nick Fury and Maria Hill's human forms, serving as stand-ins while they were away.
Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross
The former CIA agent (and ex-husband of Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Valentina Allegra de Fontaine), who has previously appeared in the Black Panther films, as well as Captain America: Civil War, is seen in the most revealing Secret Invasion clip fans have seen to date. Posted on a secret, password-encrypted website, the five-minute clip showed Ross meeting with a conspiracy theory-spouting character named Prescott, who lays out the case for the Skrull conspiracy, before attacking Ross. Has he been a Skrull all along?
Don Cheadle as James "Rhodey" Rhodes
Like his past few MCU appearances, it seems Rhodey will be more political operative and less War Machine in his Secret Invasion role. The Air Force officer and Avenger serves as the right-hand man to a new MCU president, played by Dermot Mulroney, and in trailers is seen cautioning Fury about the magnitude of the danger to come.
"I'm very excited, because I think there's a lot to learn about Rhodey, and this sort of kicks it off right here," Cheadle told ET at the Secret Invasion premiere, when asked how this series might lead into the upcoming Avengers: Secret Wars movie. "We tee it up and then, you know, hopefully we're going to be able to really, really understand who he is, and what makes them tick. What's behind that mask of a man."
Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik
In the trailers we've seen so far, Gravik appears to be Secret Invasion's main antagonist, a leader of a rebel group of Skrulls -- with perhaps some Flerkin powers too? -- who are attempting a violent infiltration of Earth in order to get the resources they need. But, as always, there seems to be much more to his story.
"I've never been approached to play a villain before, so I was curious from the beginning," Ben-Adir shared with ET of signing on to the project. "They said that they were gonna try and do something different, and it was gonna be dark and it was gonna be grounded... The character for me was something different, and to get to play so much of it with [this cast] it was a triple whammy."
Emilia Clarke as G'iah
Talos' daughter, who was first introduced as a girl in the '90s-set Captain Marvel. She's been hardened by being a refugee all her life, and, in a trailer, blames Fury for "lighting the match" that has caused the world to burn.
Olivia Colman as Sonya Falsworth
A high-ranking MI6 agent, Falsworth has a history with Fury -- though it's unclear if she'll be an ally or obstacle in the battle ahead. In the trailer, she's seen asking where Fury's "old friends" are -- questioning why he isn't recruiting the remaining Avengers for the fight. His cryptic answer: "This war is one I have to fight alone."
Dermot Mulroney as President Ritson
The introduction of Mulroney as the president of the United States as part of the MCU's Phase 5 actually raises more questions than it answers -- we know Harrison Ford's Thaddeus Ross is set to be the president by the time of the upcoming Captain America: Brave New World, which doesn't seem to bode well for Mulroney's character.
The actor himself didn't have many answers for ET at the Secret Invasion launch event, admitting that he hasn't been given many details about the series -- and is not even sure how long his character has been in office.
"I'm not even sure how new I am. You know what I mean?" he shared. "They really don't tell you much. I mean, is it real? Is it not real? They've been doing this stuff for a while now...I don't know anything."
"I was in a scene with Olivia Colman, but haven't had the pleasure of meeting her yet," he added with a laugh. "So that's how they do things in the most brilliant way on this show... We just hope that he does OK, and can kind of help figure out this international crisis because there's been a terrible invasion from space. And there are aliens... That's all I know, because they're so tight with the scripts."
In true Marvel fashion, little is known about what fans can actually expect from the mysterious new series, beyond what little character details have been revealed in interviews and preview clips.
Disney+'s official press site describes the series as such:
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.
Killian Scott, who joins the MCU in Secret Invasion as one of the rebel Skrulls, described the series as "dark, compelling and exciting."
"It's just got this kind of grit to it that I think is really interesting," he shared. "It takes its subject matter very seriously, and the way the writers have weaved in some different storylines and how it all connects up in the MCU and all that, it's a really bold piece of work that I think will surprise the audience quite a great deal."
WHAT TO WATCH BEFOREHAND
The story of the Skrulls and their violent rivalry with the Kree is featured as a major storyline in Captain Marvel, however it's the Far From Home post-credits scene that offers a hint at how deep the Skrull invasion may actually go.
If Skrulls have been standing in for Nick Fury and Maria Hill for some time, what other MCU characters aren't really who they seem?
HOW TO WATCH
The six-episode Secret Invasion series will release weekly on Disney+, premiering on Wednesday, June 21.