From left to right: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ben Mendelsohn, Samuel L. Jackson, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, Dermot Mulroney, and Ali Selim attend the Secret Invasion launch event at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

Searching for Stars and Skrulls at the Secret Invasion Launch Event

By Zach Johnson

The invasion has already begun.

Marvel Studios hosted a special launch event for Secret Invasion Tuesday night, with stars such as Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Ben Mendelsohn (Talos), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Don Cheadle (Colonel James Rhodes), Kingsley Ben-Adir (Gravik), Emilia Clarke (G’iah), Olivia Colman (Sonya Falsworth), and Dermot Mulroney (President Ritson) walking the red carpet outside of the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood to promote the Disney+ series.

In addition to the cast and crew, the event brought out actors from across the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Anjali Bhimani (Ruby), Xochitl Gomez (America Chavez), Ginger Gonzaga (Nikki Ramos), Seth Green (Howard the Duck), Matt Lintz (Bruno Carrelli), Rune Temte (Bron Char), Meng’er Zhang (Xialing), and others among those who got a first look at what happens when a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls plots to take over planet Earth. “The energy’s always so good here,” Zhang told D23 while walking the red carpet. “I’m really excited to see all those fans who dress up. Oh, it’s just like coming home, you know?”

Speaking of coming home, what makes Nick Fury leave S.A.B.E.R. and return to Earth? “The Nick Fury backstory is what this show is all about,” said Ali Selim, who directs the series. “It’s about his personal life, of which we’ve never known anything, and it’s about his inner life. Samuel Jackson was unabashed in exploring what Nick Fury’s fears might be, what his vulnerabilities might be, what his inability to embrace others might be. I think he succeeded at that. We’re going to learn a lot about Nick Fury across these six episodes.”

From left to right: Costumes for Talos, G’iah, Nick Fury, Sonya Flasworth, and Colonel James Rhodes were on display at the Secret Invasion launch event in Hollywood.

Whereas fans will learn more about MCU mainstays such as Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and James “Rhodey” Rhodes, they’ll also be introduced to a slew of new characters. “We have phenomenal roles that actors can really sink their teeth into,” casting director Sarah Halley Finn said. “Bit by bit, we were able to put this ‘pinch me,’ dream-come-true cast together.”

For example, Halley Finn said, “These are very different roles for both Emilia and Kingsley, so I feel very lucky that we got them and they were willing to take the journey with us. There are some other lovely cast members, and I think some surprises. We have other actors that should be better known than they are—and will be—like Charlayne Woodard, who’s an award-winning actress. I can’t say what part she’s playing, but I think audiences will feel like they’re discovering her for the first time. She will be an overnight success after decades. The whole cast, top to bottom, is filled with some newer talent, really established [talent], but all interesting... [We’ve] assembled a very eclectic, unusual cast for this one.”

Before Marvel Studios’ thrilling espionage series Secret Invasion debuts Wednesday, June 21, on Disney+, enjoy more photos of the cast, crew, and special guests at the launch event: