The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to court a surprising number of actors and actresses, especially as its "Phase 4" of movies and television shows have begun production. One of the most surprising castings as of late arrived on Tuesday, when it was announced that Game of Thrones and Last Christmas alum Emilia Clarke has been cast in the upcoming Secret Invasion series. Clarke is just the latest cast member to join the series, in addition to MCU veterans Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn, as well as new cast members Olivia Colman and Kingsley-Ben Adir. While the nature of Clarke's role in the series is being kept under wraps, Marvel fans have already begun to speculate about exactly who she could play — including some pretty heavy hitters within the Marvel Comics world.
Many have assumed that Queen Veranke would have some sort of role to play in Secret Invasion, especially given her relationship to the comic storyline of the same name. A princess of the Skrull empire who was briefly exiled due to her religious beliefs, Veranke rose to the ranks of Skrull Empress, and became the architect behind the actual Secret Invasion.
This casting might seem a little on-the-nose, given Clarke's Game of Thrones tenure as Daenerys Targaryen, but it's the kind of self-aware casting that Marvel has developed a penchant for. (It also would be about as on-the-nose as Colman playing the role, given her recent award-winning turn as Queen Elizabeth on The Crown.)
Of course, you can't mention Veranke's Marvel Comics history without acknowledging Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman, who the Skrull assumed the identity of for quite some time in the lead-up to Secret Invasion fully commencing. The switcheroo was actually so Veranke could be a double agent for Nick Fury, allowing her to gain information within SHIELD while the real Jessica Drew was dealing with HYDRA.
It is pretty easy to imagine Clarke playing Jessica Drew — both as herself and as Veranke impersonating her — especially as Olivia Wilde is developing a solo movie inspired by the character. Granted, those circumstances within the Secret Invasion storyline might be a little convoluted for introducing such a pivotal and fan-favorite character, but it could work.
Even just going outside of the major players of the Secret Invasion comic storyline, the TV series' showcase of SWORD has a lot of potential for interesting storytelling. One SWORD agent that fans have been particularly excited to see has been Abigail Brand, the Commander of SWORD who is currently leading the team in Marvel Comics. Half alien and half mutant, with the mutant ability to shoot blue flames from her hands, Abigail's swagger and style have made her a favorite amongst fans.
It certainly is a possibility that Abigail could factor into Secret Invasion, and casting Clarke in the role would be the perfect opportunity to put a familiar face behind a character likely unknown to general audiences, while allowing Clarke herself to play against type. Plus, now that we've crossed the threshold of X-Men-adjacent things being introduced into the MCU, it's easy to imagine Clarke's Abigail Brand teaming up with the X-Men down the line.
Who do you think Emilia Clarke could be playing in Marvel's Secret Invasion? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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