The series' opening sequence set the tone as Martin Freeman's MCU character was outed as a Skrull.
Fans were shocked that an imposter could've been so closely involved with MCU movies like Captain America: Civil War and the Black Panther franchise, but not everyone believes that this dead Skrull was the same "Agent Ross" that fans have gotten to know.
Martin Freeman Doesn't Believe He's an MCU Skrull
Secret Invasion may have killed off a Skrull that was posing as CIA Agent Everett Ross, but Martin Freeman is convinced that his MCU character hasn't always been an imposter.
Audiences remember seeing Everett Ross in the MCU as recently as last winter in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Speaking to Collider, Freeman asserted that he "wasn't playing anything in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever as a Skrull:"
"No, we had a conversation about it. Put it this way, I wasn’t playing anything in 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' as a Skrull. I wasn’t thinking, 'I’m a Skrull,' 'Secret Invasion' and 'Wakanda Forever' were definitely overlapping, chronologically, but I was never given a full definitive party line about, 'This is the Gospel truth now.'"
In case he left any room for interpretation, Freeman then reiterated that he simply doesn't believe the Ross he's played up until Secret Invasion has been a Skrull. More specifically, the actor explained that he's "played (Ross) as a human, so that's what he believes:"
“I don’t wanna play Ross as Skrull. I don’t wanna believe he’s been a Skrull this whole time, so I don’t. That’s not what I’ve played. I’ve believed, all the time, in Ross’s integrity, actually. I really enjoy playing Ross, as a Skrull or otherwise. I’ve enjoyed playing him as an organic human man, so I don’t wanna lose him to Skrulldom. So, no, Ross, for me, is not a Skrull.
Freeman was even "forewarned before seeing a script" for the episode, although it didn't stop him from playing the character as a human the way he always has:
"But I was forewarned before seeing a script and I was like, 'Huh? What the fuck?!' Because then, you have to retrofit everything you’ve done and everything the audience thinks. As someone said, when Duke Ellington died, 'If I don’t want to believe it, I just won’t believe it. It’s not true, if I don’t believe it.' So, I’m just gonna go with my own thing. I’ve played him as a human, so that’s what I believe."
Is the Black Panther Star a Skrull or Not?
Is Freeman being carefree with his character's MCU fate, or is he in denial that his CIA agent has been outed as a Skrull? This is the type of question Secret Invasion has brought to the table, and fans are both loving and hating it.
If anything, the fact that Wakanda Forever and Secret Invasion overlap may support Freeman's claim that he's now played two Ross's because the real Everett Ross would have been pretty preoccupied (and even detained at one point) during that time. That would have given the imposter Skrull plenty of room to operate underground in Secret Invasion.
As an actor who commits a lot to the roles he plays, Martin Freeman's stance on "retrofitting" the work he's done in three prior MCU installments makes sense. Freeman believes that since he's always "played (Ross) as a human," then retconning the borderline-MCU-mainstay as a Skrull would be different than what the actor intended and may somewhat diminish his character's legacy.
This has been a popular argument surrounding the Secret Invasion event in Marvel Comics with many fans claiming the heroes revealed to be Skrulls tarnished the legacies of those characters. Heading into the back half of the series, it seems the Disney+ show will only continue to stoke that flame.
The first three episodes of Secret Invasion are now streaming on Disney+, with Episode 4 premiering on Wednesday, July 12.