In a recent chat with Empire, Secret Invasion director Ali Selim talks taking influences from espionage, to westerns, to terrorism for the upcoming Marvel show. Given what we do know about Secret Invasion, the espionage and terrorism parts seem straightforward, the westerns less so. I’ll let Ali explain for himself.
“We talked a lot about classic espionage noir, like The Third Man,” director Ali Selim tells Empire in the new Secret Invasion issue, promising a distinctive genre-blend. “As Nick moves through it, he walks out of a noir and into a Western. He becomes the lone gunslinger walking down Main Street looking for bad guys to vanquish. We go from The Third Man to John Wayne in The Searchers, and Sam walks effortlessly from one into the next.”
“Who is a terrorist and why are they a terrorist?” asks Selim. “Especially here in the States, it’s easy to say we’re the good guys and they’re the terrorists. The interesting thing for me is to ask: how did we as a nation state influence the environment these people come from?” That plays a key part in the backstory of Gravik, Kingsley Ben-Adir’s Skrull rebel. “Gravik is not just a bad guy with a bomb,” Selim says. “His story and how he came to this grievance is clearly explored here. That doesn’t just refer back to movie history and noir; it refers to our times today.”
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My dad is an obsessed John Wayne fan who will watch any Wayne movie that drops onto national TV. So you better believe I’ve seen The Searchers many times and it’s definitely not what I expected from Secret Invasion. You had my curiosity Mr. Selim, but now you have my attention.
I think the ingredients are there for Secret Invasion to be a great show. That does not mean it necessarily will be, just that it really should be, if handled correctly. I look forward to checking Secret Invasion out when Episode 1 it drops onto Disney on June 21st.
What do you think of Ali Selim’s comments as the Secret Invasion director talks taking influences from espionage, to westerns, to terrorism for the upcoming Marvel show? As always, leave any musings below.