Secret Invasion: Release date, cast, plot for the huge MCU Disney+ series

Marvel's Secret Invasion has potential to be the biggest Disney+ series so far

The title treatment for Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney)
The title treatment for Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney)

Kyle Bradstreet’s Secret Invasion will be the first MCU TV show of Phase 5 when it lands on Disney+ early 2023, and it has the potential to be a massive hit.

The idea of giving Marvel mainstay Nick Fury his own standalone has been in the works since before the MCU even existed, but now, Samuel L. Jackson will finally get his time to shine.

Secret Invasion will continue the plot threads of Fury’s work with the Skrulls in Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home, with the one-eyed, former director of S.H.I.E.L.D., returning as a more grizzled version.

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For those disappointed that Captain Marvel revamped the shape-shifting Skrulls from villainous aliens into downtrodden refugees, Secret Invasion will introduce a rogue sect of those green-skinned baddies that will be more familiar to comic fans.

Secret Invasion release date

For those who can’t wait to see how Nick Fury gets his groove back, Secret Invasion will stream on Disney+ 'early 2023' although a specific date has yet to be confirmed.

Similar to the likes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki season one, Secret Invasion will consist of six episodes.

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Bradstreet, known for his work on Mr. Robot, will be joined by Thomas Bezucha (Let Him Go) and Ali Selim (The Looming Tower) as directors. Like other Disney+ releases, Secret Invasion will likely drop episodes on a weekly basis.

While there are worrying reports that shows including Echo and Agatha: Coven of Chaos could slip into 2024, Secret Invasion is locked in alongside Ironheart and Loki S2 for release on Disney+ this year.

Secret Invasion cast

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney+)

Taking top billing, Samuel L. Jackson is back for his fourteenth MCU project. We’ve seen a few shots of a dishevelled Fury, showing he’s been through a lot since we left him in the depths of space.

Also back for more, Ben Mendelsohn reprises his role as good-guy Skull, Talos. The last time we saw Talos, he’d been masquerading as Fury while the real one took a well-earned vacation in the cosmos.

Ben Mendelsohn as Talos/Keller in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Ben Mendelsohn as Talos/Keller in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney+)

It wouldn’t be right without Agent Maria Hill by Fury’s side, so it’s no surprise Cobie Smulders is back as his second-in-command. While we know Fury was taking it easy in space, it’s less clear where Hill has been when Talos’ wife (Soren) was pretending to be her.

In terms of other MCU staples, Martin Freeman and Don Cheadle also have a part to play as Everett K. Ross and James “Rhodey” Rhodes.

(L-R): Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
(L-R): Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney+)

Ross had a major part to play in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and despite being arrested by Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), he was then freed by Okoye (Danai Gurira). As for Rhodes, he had a minor part in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and is poised to lead the Armor Wars movie.

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In terms of newcomers, we have some A-list talent in the form of Olivia Colman playing Sonya Falsworth. The Oscar-winning actor portrays a former ally of Fury, but if we’ve learned anything from the MCU’s first four phases: it’s to trust no one.

Olivia Colman as Special Agent Sonya Falsworth in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Olivia Colman as Special Agent Sonya Falsworth in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney+)

Finally, the most intriguing casting is Games of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke. Even though it’s yet to be fully confirmed, all signs point to Clarke playing Abigail Brand.

This fan-favourite comic book character is the green-haired head of SWORD, meaning we could get some ties to the Skrulls popping up at the end of WandaVision. The MCU is slowly expanding its lineup of mutants, with Brand potentially joining Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and Namor (Tenoch Huerta) as the franchise’s gifted youngsters.

HALIFAX, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: Emilia Clarke and Kingsley Ben-Adir seen on set during filming of the Marvel Disney Plus series Secret Invasion at The Piece Hall on January 27, 2022 in Halifax, England.
 (Photo by Gerard Binks/Getty Images)
Emilia Clarke and Kingsley Ben-Adir seen on set during filming of Secret Invasion in Halifax, England. (Gerard Binks/Getty Images)

Finally, we have our big bad — played by Kingsley Ben-Adir. The Peaky Blinders actor stars as Gravik, who is the leader of the rogue Skrulls in Secret Invasion.

Read more: Everything we know about Ant-Man 3

Happy Gilmore’s Christopher McDonald and True Detective’s Carmen Ejogo also have mysterious roles, however, McDonald previously downplayed rumours he’s playing Norman Osborn in the MCU’s main canon.

Secret Invasion plot

Don Cheadle as James 'Rhodey' Rhodes in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2022 MARVEL.
Don Cheadle as James 'Rhodey' Rhodes in Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion. (Disney+)

Adapting the eight-issue Secret Invasion storyline of 2008, we can try and decipher some of what the live-action series will be about.

Here, the Skrulls captured and examined the Illuminati, then infiltrated Earth under the leadership of Princess Veranke. Veranke took the form of Spider-Woman, but with Jessica Drew yet to arrive in the MCU, expect the story to be massively revamped.

In the Secret Invasion trailer, we see a disgruntled Hill calling Fury out for having avoided Earth for years, with the latter saying, “Yeah, well, this is different.” It looks like your typical otherworldly threat, but with Fury not even bothering to wear his signature eyepatch, this one is serious.

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The official synopsis describes this as a crossover event, which would explain why the likes of Hill, Ross, and Rhodes are teaming up with Fury. Rhodey is warned he can’t trust his security detail, while Talos looks at war with his own kind. Speaking at Comic-Con 2022, Smulders said, “You're never going to know who people are. Are they a Skrull? Are they a human? It's going to be a bit of a guessing game.”

(Marvel Studios)
(Marvel Studios)

The trailer hasn’t made it clear what the endgame of the Skrull sect is, but with the infiltration of Earth at the highest level being the goal of the Skrulls in the comics, we guess Secret Invasion will follow suit. With anyone being a potential shapeshifter in disguise, we wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Ross was exposed as a sneaky Skrull. Also, with Dermot Mulroney expected to play President Ritson, he’s another major candidate.

MCU overlord Kevin Feige has said at least some of Secret Invasion is set during the Blip — which simplifies things — but with both Fury and Hull being dusted by Thanos’ snap, the bulk of the story can’t take place here.

Given that Secret Invasion is set to release before Nia DaCosta’s The Marvels, it’s also likely the two projects are linked in some way.

Secret Invasion will stream on Disney+ in 2023.

Watch Don Cheadle share a Secret Invasion update below