Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion: Exciting Villain Details Revealed by Director

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Secret Invasion Marvel Nick Fury

According to the director of Marvel Studios' Secret Invasion, the series' MCU villain will be anything but one-dimensional. 

Set to debut on Disney+ on June 21, Secret Invasion is a return to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and certain pre-Endgame political narratives involving Earth-based governments struggling against otherworldly threats.

In addition to Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn, the Phase 5 series also stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as the latest MCU villain, Gravik. 

Secret Invasion's Relevant Villain

In talking with Empire, Secret Invasion director Ali Selim offered new insight into the motives of the show's villain and how he reflects the series' real-world. 

From what Secret Invasion has revealed so far, an extremist Skrull cell, led by Kingsley Ben-Adir's Gravik, has broken away from the group led by Ben Mendelsohn's Talos due to unfulfilled promises. 

But as Selim explained, the question of who's right and who's wrong is a bit complicated and mirrors real political complexities, saying, "It's easy to say we're the good guys:"

“Who is a terrorist and why are they a terrorist? Especially here in the States, it’s easy to say we’re the good guys and they’re the terrorists. The interesting thing for me is to ask: how did we as a nation state influence the environment these people come from?” 

Secret Invasion intends to explore that very question through Gravik's backstory as he's "not just a bad guy with a bomb:"

“Gravik is not just a bad guy with a bomb. His story and how he came to this grievance is clearly explored here."

While the show has been described as an espionage thriller with Cold War influences, it's not only based on events of the past but "refers to our times today:"

"That doesn't just refer back to movie history and noir; it refers to our times today.” 

Why Secret Invasion's Villain Is One to Watch  

As the only adage goes, "a hero is only as good as its villain." 

Since Secret Invasion's hero happens to be Samuel L. Jackson in his first leading role as Nick Fury, the show needs a great one. 

Even though Gravik is no Kang or Thanos, a relatable, justified baddie in a fight for the muddied moral high ground can be just as formidable as a Mad Titan or time-traveling overlord. 

Perhaps Secret Invasion's paranoia doesn't just apply to the question of Skrulls and humans but also to who's in the right.

Other information fans know about Gravik and his Skrull extremists is that they reportedly operate out of Russia and from a nuclear power plant

The fact that series footage has already shown Ben-Adir exhibiting unusual abilities suggests the Skrulls may be building a device to create Super Skrulls. 

While MCU fans will have to wait and see how Secret Invasion executes, this narrative - coupled with Gravik's real-world-inspired story - means this villain has the potential to not only be a worthy challenger but a memorable one that will make audiences think. 

Secret Invasion arrives on Disney+ on June 21. 

- In This Article: Secret Invasion
Release Date
June 21, 2023
- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.