Comic-Con 2022: Secret Invasion's Cobie Smulders Teases Growing Army of Skrulls

During last night's Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios unveiled the first look at the upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion. Created Kyle Bradstreet for Disney+, adapting the 2008 Marvel Comics event series of the same name by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Francis Yu, Secret Invasion prominently features Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders, as she tries to defend Earth from an invasion. The alien Skrulls are involved, and were the villains of the comic book series that inspired the television show, but their role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the story remains less clear. 

"When we think about the world that they're in, the Skrulls have been around since we saw them in Captain Marvel," Smulders told after the Hall h panel concluded. "They've been building in numbers, are they good? Are they bad? We're going to find out in the show. But there's certainly a lot of them and so it sort of turns into this. Can I trust you? Can I not trust you? And it's really cool. It's certainly fraught with a lot of tension."

Secret Invasion also sees Hill reuniting with Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Smulders teased that their relationship may not be what it once was. 

"Yeah, he's been gone," Smulders points out. "Hill's been holding down the fort, you know what I mean? [The reunion], it's tentative. I think that Maria Hill thinks she can do anything. She's doing okay. She's handled a lot for just a puny human, you know what I mean? But I think she can see how broken this man is from loss and past experiences that she has a lot of concern about that."

Smulders first appeared as Maria Hill in 2012's The Avengers. She's returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe on multiple occasions in supporting turns before getting this leading role in Secret Invasion. She reflected on the decade spent playing Hill.

"Yeah, I mean they just keep asking me to play," she says. "I'll get a call and they're like, 'We're thinking about you doing this.' I mean, the Spider-Man thing was like such a lovely surprise and that's a cool thing that they're doing here at Marvel where the stories are kind of overlapping, like they do in the comic books, and being able to do a series like Secret Invasion is, you're allowed you're allowing the audience to sit with these characters more in situations that aren't so intense. We're able to see these characters chat around the water cooler. What's that conversation like when you're sitting in a safe house waiting for information about the bomb. What is that? It's much more human, and you get to see a different side of these characters. So that's been exciting, to explore."

The "Spider-Man thing" was her playing Hill alongside Jackson's Fury in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It turned out that both characters were Skrull imposters, something she wasn't aware of while filming.

"It just kind of happened," she says. "I think they edited it together and I'm not quite sure, I think they just went, 'How do they not know that this is happening?' They're so smart, I think that was it was. Fury and Hill are so smart, how do they not know this is coming? And maybe that was the solution? I don't know. But we certainly had conversations about that. But that was a surprise to me."

Whatever the impetus, the twist perfectly set the stage for Hill's role in Secret Invasion. The Disney+ series debuts in Spring 2023.