- Director Ali Selim reveals the timeline for when Rhodey became a Skrull in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, pinpointing “Captain America: Civil War.”
- Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige wanted fans to rewatch previous Rhodey appearances to see the clues that he was a Skrull all along.
- The reveal of Rhodey as a Skrull in “Secret Invasion” will have significant ramifications for the upcoming film “Armor Wars” and other future projects.
Secret Invasion director Ali Selim has come forward with more details on one of the show’s most shocking moments. The director revealed when a Skrull replaced Don Cheadle’s War Machine.
Based loosely on the 2008 comic story arc appearing in Marvel Comics, Secret Invasion follows former Director of S.H.I.E.L.D Nick Fury as he joins Talos, a Skrull aligned with Earth, on a quest to thwart an invasion of Earth by a rogue group of the shape-shifting aliens. The narrative direction seemed poised to deliver myriad surprises, but Secret Invasion failed to pull off its most impressive twist in revealing that longtime MCU hero Rhodey (a.k.a. Iron Man associate War Machine) had secretly been a Skrull for some time.
The choice for Cheadle’s character to get the big reveal was seemingly easy for the actor, with Marvel Cinematic Universe boss Kevin Feige even going on record to say that Rhodey had to be a Skrull. More recently, Secret Invasion director Selim has commented on the most common question fans have had after the reveal in an interview with ComicBook. “A lot of people have asked about, ‘Definitively, when did Rhodey…?’ I think his legs not working at the end of episode six and him being in the hospital gown points to ‘Captain America: Civil War’.”
Going further, Selim mirrored Feige’s sentiment about the ambiguity being interesting from a fan perspective. “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.'” Despite its perceived flaws, the reveal and other surprises in Secret Invasion have people wondering how long the Skrull threat might last in the MCU and how long it’s secretly been going on.
This development might have fallen flat in the Secret Invasion show. Still, it will undoubtedly have significant ramifications for the plot of the War Machine-focused project starring Cheadle that was recently upgraded from a Disney Plus show to an MCU film titled Armor Wars. From the change in character perspective that being replaced must have on Rhodes to the emotional impact of being absent for the death of his closest friend and other allies, the lackluster response to Secret Invasion could pay dividends for Armor Wars and other upcoming projects.
However, that approach is optimistic and doesn’t consider how Marvel’s bad pacing failed Secret Invasion and the fans who looked forward to it. Despite being out of the direct control of those involved with the projects currently on offer for Marvel Studios, the general downturn in fan interest alongside the strike action that has ground many projects at major studios to a halt seems to be leading up to a lot of hard decisions and changes for the Marvel Cinematic Universe if the executives behind it ever intend to reclaim some of the magic that previous phases benefited from.
Secret Invasion is available for streaming on Disney Plus.
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