Warning: Spoilers for Episode 1 of Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” below.
While the crowd scene at the end of the first episode of Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” was challenging to create, director Ali Selim didn’t find it to be as complicated as the show’s more intimate scenes between two actors.
“I think everything about filmmaking is challenging every step of the way, every decision you make, every bomb you have to build. Everything is a challenge because you’re taking a blank slate and filling it with a story. You look at that end scene with the explosions, it was massive and it took days to storyboard and plan and execute,” he told TheWrap. “But ultimately, I think it was simpler than some two-hander scene with two people sitting at a table that relies on this very elusive idea of emotional truth.”
The Disney+ series, which is set in the present-day MCU, centers on Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, who learns of a clandestine invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls. Fury is joined by allies, including Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders), and the Skrull Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), who has made a life for himself on Earth.
Selim said that Jackson “knows Nick Fury better than anybody on Earth could possibly know Nick Fury” but argued that he “doesn’t know this Nick Fury because it’s a new path for him to take.”
“He’s gone from badass who’s always three steps ahead to a disoriented guy who disappeared in the blip and came back on his back foot,” he explained. “And so with a good collaborator like Sam, the conversations are always what’s best for the story and this story is about Nick Fury’s return to see if he can regain his mojo or some version of that. And Sam makes great choices to help the story find its way.”
He added that there were no guardrails or roadblocks from Marvel during the production process.
“Marvel is excited to tell this story. It’s a very new story for them, but it’s still Marvel,” he said. “So my job becomes shepherding the brand and blowing the doors off the brand at the same time.”
When asked if there is a particular episode that will surprise fans the most, Selim remained tight-lipped.
“I hope not because that feels like a scene stealer. It feels like somebody’s chewing up the scenery if one episode sticks out,” he said. “I hope that it’s a really smooth arc across six episodes and that people are constantly surprised and never pulled out of the story. And I think that the series is effective that way. I hope you’re always surprised.”
The first episode of Secret Invasion is streaming now on Disney+. New episodes are available every Wednesday.