Man in Black

'Secret Invasion' will be a big "departure" from previous Marvel shows, star says

Martin Freeman will return as Everett Ross in the next Marvel epic on Disney+, but says the project isn’t like anything the MCU’s done before.

Zade Rosenthal/Marvel/Kobal/Shutterstock

The invasion is about to begin.

In 2023, Marvel Studios will unleash Secret Invasion, a new Disney+ miniseries featuring Samuel L. Jackson back in his role as Nick Fury. This time, the ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. director gets wrapped up in a Skrull conspiracy, as the alien shapeshifters are hiding in large numbers on Earth.

Martin Freeman will also return as CIA agent Everett Ross, who was most recently seen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

In a new interview with Digital Spy, Freeman said Secret Invasion feels different, although he admits he hasn’t seen much of the final product.

“It does feel like a little departure,” Freeman said, “In ways that I wouldn’t be that able to describe. The bits I’ve read do feel different. Because of the nature of television, you can luxuriate in things a little bit more. That storytelling process is just elongated. So you have got more time to get those knotty problems out.”

Freeman, whose Ross will probably be on the run following the events of Wakanda Forever, said the series will be both “figuratively and literally” dark, with maze-like storytelling. “Quite labyrinthine” is how he described it, “in terms of storytelling, and the amount of people crossing over with each other.”

It isn’t earth-shattering for a Marvel actor to say a project is different from what’s come before in a mega-franchise of 30 movies and nearly a dozen TV shows. But Freeman does allude to what might make Secret Invasion an early binge favorite in 2023.

Martin Freeman will return for Secret Invasion as Everett Ross.Marvel Studios/Kobal/Shutterstock

Loosely based on a 2008 Marvel Comics crossover, Secret Invasion is primed to be another spy action-drama on the same wavelength as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Black Widow, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. But, with its premise of a Skrull invasion, the show will carry a comparatively more sinister tone that evokes something akin to The X-Files, Fringe, Twin Peaks, and pulp sci-fi like Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Even the show’s trailer contains an atmosphere straight out of iconic sci-fi horror. The opening image of Nick Fury stepping out of a ghostly white void, shot out of focus to make him look like an alien, feels like it should be scored to The X-Files theme. Instead, the music uses Shepard tones, an audio technique of looping sounds to create escalating tension.

While Secret Invasion will undoubtedly have the action that Marvel fans expect, it’s also bound to have throwback sci-fi vibes that won’t feel like anything else Marvel has done before. The MCU has many aliens in its shared universe, but now they’re hiding among us.

Secret Invasion is scheduled to premiere on Disney+ in early 2023.