While Secret Invasion didn't hit the mark for many audiences and critics, one of the plot points that really rubbed audiences the wrong way was the abrupt and lackluster death of Cobie Smulder's Maria Hill. Many fans felt it was a weak, unnecessary plot device and that her death was a waste of the character.
But is she actually dead, for real?
Did Maria Hill Actually Die In Secret Invasion?
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Secret Invasion director Ali Selim addressed the fate of Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill following her death at the hands of Gravik - disguised as Nick Fury - in the final moments of the Disney+ premiere.
When asked about how much he talked to The Marvels team (and other Marvel Studio creatives) in making sure all the stories between projects lined up, Selim revealed that he has no idea "what's going to happen to Maria Hill or Talos," and that they are both "dead:"
"I don't know what's going to happen to Maria Hill or Talos. They're dead. One is burned, and the other is buried. But in the MCU, anything can happen. So, where are they going to end up? I don't know."
He went on to elaborate that he does "think [they] did a pretty good job of launching Nick Fury" into where audiences will see him next:
"I mean, my job is to tell this story within this box, within these six episodes. I do my best not to confuse myself or the audience with things outside the box. But there are also moments where Nick Fury needs to end up here, so the next film he is in works. I think we did a pretty good job of launching Nick Fury."
As for Sonya and G'iah's agreement, the director explained that fans could "see it as a cliffhanger" or "a lovely resolution:"
"But I think there's a certain amount of comfort in watching Sonya and G'iah come to their agreement. You can see it as a cliffhanger for future MCU [projects], or you can see it as a lovely resolution to this story. But yes, we had conversations, but not anything beyond: 'How can I help set this up?'"
In a separate discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, the outlet asked Selim if Cobie Smulders' last day on set was sad. The director joked that "there is no sad day" with the actress while also adding hope that Marvel Studios could always bring her back for another appearance:
"There is no sad day with Cobie Smulders. She is can-do. She shows up, does her work, loves it and brings incredible spirit. She and Sam did have a bittersweet goodbye, but who knows where Maria Hill is gonna end up. I don’t think she has any superpowers or serum that will keep her alive forever, but they could always make a movie that takes place before 2023, in which Maria Hill shows up."
How Marvel Studios Short-Changed Maria Hill
Swaths of fans are still sad that Secret Invasion will seemingly be Maria Hill's last appearance. Going into the project, many thought this Disney+ series would finally be the time where Cobie Smulder's hero became a much more developed character as a co-lead of the show—but it was not.
It is true that Marvel Studios could always bring her back for a flashback appearance, but it'll never completely overturn the sting that fans feel about Hill being dead in the MCU's present. It all hurts even more because her last appearance before Secret Invasion was Spider-Man: Far From Home, and that wasn't even her, but rather the Skrull Soren.
At least Talos got more to do in Secret Invasion, even though, at the end of the day, he's also just as dead as Maria Hill. Maybe the show could've held off on killing Smulders' hero and given her some character development as they did for Ben Mendelsohn's shape-changing alien.
As it currently stands, fans have no idea when the MCU will continue the plot threads left hanging by Secret Invasion. While Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury will be in The Marvels on November 10, the upcoming movie doesn't look like it holds much connection to the events of the recent Disney+ series.
Maybe Armor Wars will focus more on Secret Invasion's cast of characters than audiences realize.
Secret Invasion is now streaming on Disney+.