‘Secret Invasion’ Trailer: Marvel series is an alien-fueled paranoia thriller
Aliens are among us in Marvel’s new Disney+ series “Secret Invasion,” and Ben Mendelsohn promises the show (premiering June 21) more than delivers on that title.
“You can’t have a secret invasion without an invasion, right? What’s the point? What are you going to call it, ‘Secret Attempted Invasion’? ‘Secret Nearly Got There Invasion’? ” the Emmy-winning actor (“Bloodline”) says with a chuckle. “Something has definitely gotten in.”
Mendelsohn reteams with “Captain Marvel” co-star Samuel L. Jackson for the six-episode series, which finds Jackson’s superspy – and Marvel Cinematic Universe OG – Nick Fury returning from space to foil the plans of a faction of shapeshifting green-skinned Skrulls to infiltrate positions of power worldwide.
Even with extra-terrestrials involved, “Secret Invasion” is very much an old-school Cold War paranoia thriller told through a Marvel superhero lens, says Mendelsohn, who plays Skrull good guy Talos. “This is one the grownups can dig. It’s mental. I hope it ends up being one of the coolest things that they’ve done.”
The seeds of “Secret Invasion” were first planted in the 2019 movie “Captain Marvel,” a 1990s-set adventure that introduced Brie Larson’s superpowered Carol Danvers. When Talos’ Skrull crew came to Earth and took human form, Carol and Nick first assume they’re villains. But in fact his people are cosmic refugees looking for a new home after losing theirs in a war with the Kree. Mendelsohn’s character next appeared in “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” where in present day Talos took the place of Fury on Earth as the real Nick was in space trying to help the Skrulls find a place of their own.
As “Secret Invasion” begins, that mission hasn’t been very successful, which leads an extremist bunch of Skrulls to take matters into their own hands. After making a life for himself on Earth, “Talos is very committed to trying to make stuff work,” Mendelsohn says. But in the aftermath of “Avengers: Endgame,” as the world tries to stabilize in a post-Thanos landscape, “things have been a little difficult. There’s no doubt that Talos wants Fury to step up.”
The show features the return of Fury’s fellow ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Avenger/military man James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) and former CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman). Olivia Colman is the latest Oscar winner to join the Marvel fold as Sonya Falsworth, an MI6 agent and former ally of Fury, while Kingsley Ben-Adir debuts as Gravik, the Skrull antagonist leading the invasive assault. There’s a moment in the “Secret Invasion” trailer where Gravik multiplies himself in a cool and dangerous manner, but “then he gets to deal with Talos. And Talos ain’t having any of that,” Mendelsohn teases.
The show offers at least two bits for Marvel continuity nerds, Mendelsohn says. G’iah (Emilia Clarke) is a grownup version of Talos’ young daughter from “Captain Marvel,” but she might not be totally aligned with her dad. “Emilia is awesome in this,” Mendelsohn says. And, echoing his role in that previous movie, Talos again takes the human form of former S.H.I.E.L.D. director Keller in order to work with Fury in plain sight.
“The relationship between Talos and Fury is sort of tighter than it’s ever been, and really not good,” says Mendelsohn, who with Jackson created an entertaining duo. “I don’t know if (Talos) is like Abbott to his Costello (but) it’s something that the audience will enjoy without losing how bad the situation gets.”
Mendelsohn loved getting to work with Jackson again. “He’s the most significant blockbuster actor in the history of the human race,” the Australian actor says, but at the same time, “he is a very cool and fun guy. He doesn’t B.S. around, he’s not mean to people and he’s a joy.”
And during a moment of downtime on the set, Jackson gave Mendelsohn one of his fondest on-set memories with an impromptu Marvel duet.
“We’re sitting on the sidelines waiting to do a shot,” Mendelsohn recalls. “Sometimes I bring a speaker to work. I started playing some Coasters and ‘Poison Ivy’ comes on. Now I know my way around that song. Sam knows his way around that song better. Sam starts singing. I start singing. Sam knows all the words, proper; I missed one or two.
“Forget about it, there’s nothing better. That’s the good life.”
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