Secret Invasion Director Confirms Timeline With Rhodey and Skrull Twist (Exclusive)

Perspective of past events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe just changed dramatically

Secret Invasion was expected to shake things up for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Skrull invaders became a threat to global security. Spoilers for Secret Invasion follow. While perspectives might shift after such titles as The Marvels and Armor Wars which are promised as direct follow-ups to the latest Disney+ series, it currently looks like Secret Invasion shook up the eMCU's past more than anything which might follow. Nick Fury's secret marriage was one element introduced as having been a factor since the time following 2012's Avengers movie but it also seems Colonel James Rhodes has been replaced by an alien invader since the events of 2016's Captain America: Civil War. 

"A lot of people have asked about, 'Definitively, when did Rhodey...?'" Secret Invasion director Ali Selim said in an exclusive interview with "I think his legs not working in the end of episode six and him being in the hospital gown points to [Captain America: Civil War]. And, from there, does it have to be definitive, or is it more fun for the audience to go back and revisit every moment, every Rhodey moment and look at it with a different lens now that they think, 'Oh, he might've been a Skrull there.' And make the decision for themselves, or it'll be answered in Armor Wars."

This means Rhodey was a Skrull through his appearances in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, as well as The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. The Rhodey awakened at the end of Secret Invasion presumably does not know his long time friend Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, died saving the universe from Thanos. Nor does he know Sam Wilson is Captain America or that Natasha Romanoff is gone. One also has to wonder if the humans who were held captive by Skrulls could have ben victims of The Blip and what happened when they returned?

For Dermot Mulroney, the actor who played President Ritson in Secret Invasion, the reveal of Don Cheadle's Rhodey character being a Skrull came when they filmed their first scene together. "I knew that in those scenes, but if he's revealed to be a Skrull in a scene that I'm not in, then I didn't see that page," Mulroney told in an interview available on the Phase Zero channel, conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike began. "So, it'd be just being told that by the director as we're shooting it. So, this is also part of the scene. You already know, you think he might be a Skrull, so you don't want to play it. Whichever exactly that version is, that's how I would've learned it. In other words, I didn't come in knowing all that because I wasn't availed to some of the content that played on those moments. But you're picking cool moments that have that gray area. So, maybe back to your previous question, some of that stuff, it's not that you're non-committal in your performance, even better is you're committing to doing nothing so you don't get caught hanging out. That's the actor. So you don't do too much in one direction. It might be proven wrong."

As for Selim, maintaining the surprise and secrets of Secret Invasion until the time they were intended to be revealed was crucial. "We have a great crew and a great MCU family. A lot of these people work for them all the time, and it was never about hiding that," Selim said. "We just shot it. We just shot the Rhodey reveal as a female Skrull, which I think is interesting. And, I guess, hid it from the audience is pretty easy because I don't talk about this stuff anyway, as I told you in the beginning."

What did you think of Secret Invasion? Share your thoughts in the comment section or send them my way on Twitter! Secret Invasion is available in its entirety on Disney+.