Secret Invasion was always expected to be an important piece of the MCU puzzle based on the comic event series it will adapt alone. That significance only become more apparent when Marvel Studios themselves labeled the Disney+ project as the first "crossover event series."
Everett Ross actor Martin Freeman since teased that crossover scale as he referred to "the amount of people crossing over with each other." And the insane cast of 12 newcomer actors and characters from across the MCU mythos has only made that larger scale more apparent.
Given how the Secret Invasion comic event was game-changing for the Marvel universe and revealed several heroes as Skrulls, fans are expecting similar importance from the Disney+ series. While its larger impact on the MCU remains unclear, one of the actors involved has revealed at least one movie it will set up.
Secret Invasion Will Set Up Iron Man Spin-Off Movie
During a recent interview with Total Film, James Rhodes actor Don Cheadle addressed how Secret Invasion will set the stage for his upcoming Armor Wars movie, which was recently converted from a small to a big-screen affair.
When asked his thoughts on the MCU's huge expansion since the end of the Infinity Saga, Cheadle called the shift "bananas," before revealing there's "a part of" Secret Invasion that "kicks off what happens in Armor Wars:"
"It’s bananas! And it’s very expansive. And obviously now that everyone can show up in everybody else’s story… I mean, I’m in 'Secret Invasion'. So I’m in Sam [Jackson]’s show. There’s a part of that, that kicks off what happens in Armor Wars."
The MCU mainstay then touched on recent quality concerns, sharing his hopes that the franchise "doesn't get spread too thin" and there continues to be "some quality control:"
"So yeah, it can go on and on and on… hopefully it doesn’t get spread too thin. And there’s still some quality control and not just trying to expand for expansion’s sake. But there’s a clear idea about the storytelling and what you’re trying to accomplish with every iteration."
A recent report from The Cosmic Circus revealed Marvel Studios' own quality concerns about the MCU's Phase 4, noting that it will be "re-evaluating the future releases" and taking steps to "establish more quality control moving forward."
On the topic of Armor Wars, the actor teased what fans can expect from War Machine, calling his solo spin-off an opportunity to "make him a three-dimensional dude," while also "[paying] off the Marvel stuff:"
"I don’t think we’ve ever really dug into him, and now it’s an opportunity to really explore his emotional life, his interior life, his relationships, his trajectory, where he wants to go, what his challenges are. Obviously, you have to pay off the Marvel stuff. And be in the lore of the mythology of the character and the MCU in general. But trying to really build out this character and make him a three-dimensional dude… is what the goal [is]. So I’m excited about that."
How Will Secret Invasion Tease Armor Wars
Secret Invasion being poised to directly set up Armor Wars heavily points toward Don Cheadle's Rhodey playing a major role in the Disney+ series. But with the entire cast currently being made up of spies, Skrulls, and government agents, it's unclear whether he will actually suit up as War Machine this time around.
Of course, any development in Rhodes' character would be vital to preparing for Armor Wars, especially since his only post-Endgame appearance has come in a cameo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Fans have truly yet to see how the loss of his best friend, Tony Stark, has impacted Rhodey in recent years.
However, Cheadle's wording that "a part of [Secret Invasion]... kicks off what happens in Armor Wars" implies he is referring to story direction as opposed to character development. Could Rhodey turn out to have been a Skrull all along? Well, that would certainly change things up going into his MCU solo outing.
Armor Wars just took the jump from Disney+ series to blockbuster form a few months back, as Marvel Studios believed the story was too big for the small screen. Clearly, this will prove to be a much more important piece of the MCU than had originally been assumed, especially with it now spinning out of Secret Invasion.
Secret Invasion will release exclusively on Disney+ this year. Armor Wars has yet to set an official release date or window.