Is ‘Secret Invasion’ Samuel L. Jackson’s Last Hurrah in the MCU? “I ask this question all the time,” the star says

SECRET INVASION, Samuel L. Jackson, as Nick Fury, (Season 1, aired June 2023).  photo: Gareth Gatrell /©Marvel Entertainment/©Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion. (Photo: Gareth Gatrell/Marvel Entertainment/Disney+/Courtesy Everett Collection)

As Nick Fury, the former Director of SHIELD, founder of Avenger and wearing an eye patch, Samuel L. Jackson’s tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe predates the term itself. Since its debut in 2008 Iron ManJackson outlived many of the Avengers he assembled (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson) while appearing in 11 movies.

“Enjoying the moment I have,” Jackson, 74, tells us when asked what the secret to his successful 15-plus-year relationship with Marvel is. “Knowing what my job is when I enter a particular story. I’m most of the time the basic human element for anything that’s, you know, extra special or super. And being able to come in and handle the gravity and the seriousness of it. And I still have the sense of humor that people see me in. ”

Jackson certainly spiced up the relationship with his reliable performance as Fury, but with the new Disney+ series Secret InvasionJackson gets to do something he’s never done before after all these years as the glue that holds the MCU together: assume leadership.

Decades after forging an alliance with the shapeshifting alien race known as the Skrulls at the end of Captain Marvel (2019), Fury returns to Earth – he’s been working in space ever since the Blip badly hit him – to find that a large contingent of Skrulls are secretly invading the planet with plans to take it over.

“It’s a human story, not a superhero story,” says director Ali Selim, who describes the series as a political thriller with spy, black and Western influences, citing The third man, unforgiven And Researchers as tonal inspirations. “This is the Nick Fury story.”

For Jackson, that meant learning things about Nick Fury that even the actor didn’t know. He contacted writer/producer Brian Tucker early in the process to find information such as, “Where does Nick live, who is there? Is he alone? How vulnerable is he? What has he been doing for the last three years he’s been missing [in space]?”

And what about its future? At a time when many of Jackson’s early MCU collaborators have locked down the franchise, it’s natural to wonder how long the septuagenarian actor will stick around, especially with the marketing teases. Secret Invasion as “one last stand” for Fury. Could this be his last hurrah?

“I don’t know,” Jackson says, playing coy (if he knows). “I’m still trying to understand [that] when a Marvel movie is over. Will I be in the next? I constantly ask this question. Can I go to Wakanda? (After Secret InvasionJackson is still scheduled to appear in November Wondersbut we don’t know when Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel following takes place; the fact that Fury still wears his eyepatch in Wondersand not Secret Invasionmay contain a hint.)

While Jackson has been a key cog in the MCU over the past decade and a half, his Secret Invasion Co-star Ben Mendelsohn wasn’t originally supposed to be in more than half a movie.

“He was dead on page 56 when I signed up for Captain Marvel“, says the Australian actor of Talos, Fury’s closest Skrull confidant and who reveals the ubiquity of his species in Secret Invasion. Mendelsohn had worked with Captain Marvel co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck before, however, in 2015 Mississippi grindand the filmmakers conspired to expand Talos’ role.

“That’s how irresistible he is,” co-star Emilia Clarke says with a smile. “Once you keep working with that person, you want to keep working with them.”

SECRET INVASION, Emilia Clarke, (Season 1, aired June 2023).  photo: Gareth Gatrell /©Marvel Entertainment/©Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

Emily Clarke in Secret Invasion. (Photo: Gareth Gatrell/Marvel Entertainment/Disney+/Courtesy Everett Collection)

After becoming a household name as Dragonmother Daenerys Targaryen in HBO Game Of Thrones then enter the world of star wars (Solo) And The Terminator (Genisys), Clarke makes her MCU debut in Secret Invasion, playing G’iah, the now adult daughter of Talos. And she like he.

“It’s just the best [franchise]”, she says of Marvel. “It’s the best of all those things. It’s such a pedigree in its own right. It lives on its own level that’s separate from everything else. It’s not only one superhero franchise. It’s Marvel. Yeah. It’s totally different… There’s an ease and a calmness to it that I think comes from being the best, and maybe they understand that they’re the best and they’ve got it all, and then having that cast is just mind-blowing.

“You know, Game Of Thrones [was] such a unique experience for me because we didn’t know what we were doing most of the time. And then it became a big thing, and we were kind of, we just rode this journey all the way. You are intervening and everyone is already [on] their A game. It’s adorable.”

SECRET INVASION, Kingsley Ben-Adir, (Season 1, aired June 2023).  photo: Gareth Gatrell /©Marvel Entertainment/©Disney+ / Courtesy Everett Collection

Kingsley Ben Adir in Secret Invasion. (Photo: Gareth Gatrell/Marvel Entertainment/Disney+/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Marvel certainly continues to recruit the best of the best when it comes to acting heavyweights, both established and rising. Also new to the MCU in Secret Invasion are Olivia Colman (Oscar nominee three of the past five years and winner in 2019 for The favourite) and Kingsley Ben-Adir (who won critical acclaim for playing Malcolm X in the 2020s One night in Miami and will soon headline a Bob Marley biopic).

“I think One night in Miami came out and they called a few weeks later,” says Ben-Adir, who plays the series’ main antagonist Gravik, a Skrull rebel leader and terrorist bent on claiming Earth for himself.

“I’ve been begging to be a part of this for ages,” says Colman, who plays Sonya Falsworth, a high-ranking MI6 agent whose sadistic side leads to one of the most memorable moments at the start of the series.

“I said, ‘I wish she was funny,'” Colman shares. “And that was it, they did it. So it’s all of them. And they created this wonderful character and I was thrilled to be able to do that.

Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney+.

Watch the trailer:

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