Secret Invasion found its directors in May 2021 with Ali Selim and Thomas Bezucha, the latter of which departed the Disney+ series ahead of the start of production four months later in September.
Why Secret Invasion's Original Director Quit
Speaking on The Playlist Podcast Network, Secret Invasion director Ali Selim revealed why Thomas Bezuch - who was originally meant to helm half the series with him - departed the project before filming began.
When asked how he ended up directing all six episodes while most MCU series have multiple directors taking on a few episodes each, Selim explained the original plan had Bezucha helm the first three episodes while he took on the latter half:
“Well, when I came on, there were two of us. I was gonna do [Episodes] 4, 5, 6, and my friend, Tom Bezucha, was gonna do 1, 2, 3."
Selim added how Bezucha departed the project due to "scheduling constraints" with Fargo Season 5 after the show was "delayed a couple of times:"
"And then, he and I prepped for a while, but then we got into probably scheduling constraints for him or something, because I think the show got delayed a couple of times. And he had to depart for… He worked on 'Fargo,' this season of 'Fargo.' So, he had to depart for that."
For context, Secret Invasion started filming in September 2021, months before Fargo Season 5's renewal was even announced in early 2022, which raises more questions about Bezucha's alleged scheduling conflict.
The filmmaker added how Bezucha's departure "was a little ill-timed" but it "worked out well for [him]," as well as the actors and Marvel:
"And it was great for me. I think maybe a little ill-timed… his departure was a little ill-timed for Marvel and so, I was part of the scramble to fill those episodes. But I think ultimately, like I said, it worked out well for me, and I think it worked out well for the actors. No complaints from Marvel, so I think they’re happy having one director tell that whole story.”
In an interview with Collider, Nick Fury actor Samuel L. Jackson revealed Bezucha quit the project the day after his meeting with the actor:
"Interestingly enough when I first started ['Secret Invasion'] Ali [Selim] was one of two directors. And I met with him (Selim) and then I met with the other director and the next day the other director (Bezucha) had quit."
Secret Invasion's Director Woes
The majority of the MCU's Disney+ shows are essentially long movies that are chopped up into six episodes. So, having only one director behind all of those episodes helps to create a consistent feel, style, and tone across the whole series, just as an actual movie would do.
In the same Collider interview discussed before, Samuel L. Jackson praised how Ali Sleim tackling every episode allowed him to "shape" Secret Invasion in a particular way with more "consistency:"
"But I think it's great that Ali stuck and I think it's even greater that they allowed him to direct all the episodes. So it gave us a consistency of idea or concept that he had for what he wanted the show to be. So he was able to shape it in that particular way, or convince us that we were shaping it in a way that was our way, but turned out to be his way."
Out of Marvel Studios' eight live-action Disney+ shows, four have been brought to life by one singular director - WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, and Secret Invasion - while the rest were created by multiple filmmakers, those being Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Hawkeye.
Only time will tell whether Ali Selim or Thomas Bezucha reunite with Marvel Studios for a future movie or show, but the backlash and negative reactions toward the series may doom the former's chances of being brought back for another project.
Secret Invasion is streaming now on Disney+.