Coming hot off his performance as Malcolm X in One Night in Miami, it was announced today that Kingsley Ben-Adir will be starring with Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn in the upcoming Marvel series for Disney+ Secret Invasion.
According to a report in Deadline, Ben-Adir is set to play a lead villain in the series though Marvel Studios has declined to comment on the specifics of his role. Seeing as Marvel is not always known for having standout villains, save for a few notable exceptions such as Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther, this casting news has the potential to be exciting.
As previously revealed, Jackson and Mendelsohn are going to be reprising their respective roles as Nick Fury and the Skrull Talos in Secret Invasion. Plot specifics are under wraps, but in the comics this particular storyline follows the Skrulls spending years hiding among the people of Earth and living in secret due to their ability to disguise their appearance.
Ben-Adir has always been a standout and his role in One Night in Miami proved to be a powerful presence in a film that already was about four legends of history. He really had his work cut out for him and he more than rose to the occasion in a transcendent performance that pulled back the curtain on a truly historic figure.
It also isn’t the first historic figure he has played. Ben-Adir played Barack Obama in the Showtime limited series The Comey Rule. While the show was largely unnecessary and felt strange to see such recent history be adapted, Ben-Adir was still compelling in capturing the complex character. He also has been in The OA, Peaky Blinders, and the cancelled-too-soon Hulu series High Fidelity. If Ben-Adir can bring even an iota of his talents to this new role, whatever it ends up being, then it is certainly going to be a character to keep an eye on.
What also is interesting is that it represents Marvel’s continued foray into creating long form television programming. Kevin Feige had previously told Collider that they would be adapting the storyline as a six-episode series rather than a movie.
“I mean, we’re interested in the political paranoia aspect of Secret Invasion and really showcasing the stars with Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn, two amazing actors that you want to have in any series, and we’re very lucky to have them for that. That’s the sort of primary focus of that and, of course, it will tie into other things and the Skrulls in ways you haven’t seen before, but yes, anything could be anything. Wise words… But we wanted to do that as a series because it would allow us to do something different than we’ve done before.”
Coming off the success of WandaVision and the upcoming The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, there is clearly a hunger for longer form stories in the MCU, and if Ben-Adir will have a large role in the show then that certainly adds to the intrigue surrounding the project.