‘Secret Invasion’ sees Samuel L. Jackson team up with Marvel newcomers Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman

DUBAI; The Marvel Cinematic Universe is gaining new ground with its latest Disney+ series, “Secret Invasion,” a tense spy thriller that sees a world-weary Nick Fury fight to protect Earth from an extremist group of Skrulls, who want to claim the planet for themselves.

At a recent virtual press conference, Marvel president Kevin Feige said of the show and its grim tone: “We love to do different genres for everything, and this was an attempt to really dive back into things we touched upon in ‘The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Captain America 2’ but hadn’t in a while, and really (delve) into the tone of a spy show.”

“Secret Invasion” — releasing in the Middle East on June 21 with weekly episodes dropping on Wednesday — is based on the comic book story of the same name by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu. Reprising their past MCU roles in the new series are Samuel L. Jackson (Fury), Ben Mendelsohn (Talos), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Martin Freeman (Agent Everett Ross) and Don Cheadle (Rhodey/War Machine).

The series reunites Jackson and Smulders who have played SHIELD agents for the last 15 years and counting in the MCU.

“I remember meeting Cobie for the first time at the screen test. Because I screen-tested with all the people that were trying to be Maria Hill. She killed it. I mean, the audition was straight-up technobabble. And she had it down. She was one of the few people that knew all of it,” said Jackson of his co-star.

Emilia Clarke and Ben Mendelsohn in ‘Secret Invasion.’ (Supplied)

“And I have not gotten it right since,” quipped Smulders.

“Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke makes her Marvel debut with “Secret Invasion,” playing the mysterious Gi’ah.

When asked what made her want to join the MCU, the actress gestured to her co-stars. “All the people sitting right here. Like, literally. Who on Earth would ever not want to be sitting here with all of these incredible people? Even just a single one of these people on their own is enough. Altogether, it’s completely undeniable.”

Another newcomer to the MCU is Academy Award-winning English actress Olivia Colman, who plays MI6 agent Sonya.

“She likes wearing red. And she’s quite funny,” said Colman, trying to describe her character while avoiding a minefield of spoilers. “And she’s potentially a little bit not that nice sometimes.”

To which Jackson added: “And possibly, the most dangerous woman in the UK.”

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