Spider-Man Far From Home sets up

At first glance, Spider-Man: Far From Home may seem somewhat inconsequential in the grand scheme of MCU movies. After all, its primary plot involves Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trying to express his feelings for MJ (Zendaya) while on an international school trip, but he’s continually distracted by being called upon to fight new threats popping up around the globe.

But by the time the lights come up in the theater, secrets are exposed around this movie’s edges which reveal that Far From Home has more up its sleeve than we all thought. Here’s a spoiler-heavy look at how the new film may be setting up future entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond just a third solo Spider-Man film.

secret invasion movie

Who is Talos and are They Setting Up Secret Invasion?

If you skipped Captain Marvel earlier this year, you probably spent the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home wondering what you were watching. This film ends with a reveal that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) were being impersonated by members of a shape-shifting alien race called Skrulls for the entirety of the movie – specifically by Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) and his wife Soren (Sharon Blynn). Talos was a major character in Captain Marvel: he’s a Skrull general who initially appears to be the villain of that movie, but as that story progresses, we discover he’s simply trying to reunite with his family and save his surviving people from an enemy race called the Kree, who nearly wiped out the Skrulls during a war years earlier. But unlike in the comics, where Skrulls often shape-shift for deceptive or nefarious purposes, their appearance as Fury and Hill in Far From Home is endorsed by the real Fury, who is hanging out on a huge Skrull spaceship somewhere in the galaxy.

Still, this reveal may have triggered the Spider-Senses (or, uh, “Peter tingles”) of comics readers in the audience: could the Marvel Cinematic Universe be heading toward a cinematic adaptation of a comic book event called Secret Invasion? That comic storyline involved Skrulls infiltrating key positions on Earth, including impersonating some of the planet’s biggest superheroes, sowing distrust among the hero teams and resulting in deadly confrontations across the planet to determine who was “real” and who wasn’t. Naturally, if this conflict were to make its way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it wouldn’t be a direct adaptation of the events of the comics – as is typical with massive comic storylines like this, shit gets truly wild and the cast of characters is far more extensive than even what we saw in Avengers: Endgame. Tony Stark is a major player in Secret Invasion and he’s dead now in the films. And the Skrulls are evil in the comics, but as we learned in Captain Marvel, they’re an oppressed race of refugees in the MCU – unless, of course, there’s a renegade sect who’s been orchestrating an elaborate invasion on its own.

Short answer: I don’t anticipate a full-fledged Secret Invasion narrative for the MCU quite yet, although there’s always the opportunity to cherry-pick plot points from that event and incorporate them into future films.

guardians 3 and endgame

Are Nick Fury and Maria Hill Setting Up Guardians of the Galaxy 3?

The film’s final seconds depict the real Fury lackadaisically wandering across the decks of a colossal spaceship populated by bustling Skrulls. Fury is barefoot and seems carefree, and it appears as if he’s actually taking a break. Since we’ve never seen this character take a moment to himself before, I initially assumed Fury was just sort of hanging out until this ship travelled to its destination and he snapped back into action, but in hindsight, it makes a weird kind of sense that the world’s greatest spy would want to literally escape his own world if he’s going to truly unplug and relax for once. Meanwhile, the real Maria Hill is nowhere in sight, and it’s unclear if she’s somewhere else on that ship or if she’s hiding out at a different vacation spot all her own. (For her sake, I hope it’s the latter – the two of them are practically joined at the hip, so some alone time would probably do them both some good!)

Marvel Studios has yet to officially unveil its next few movies (the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con seems like the likely time for a big announcement), but here are the few things we know they have in development: Eternals, a space epic from Chloe Zhao; Black Widow, a spy prequel from Cate Shortland; Shang-Chi, an Earthbound martial arts superhero story from Destin Daniel Cretton; Doctor Strange 2 from returning director Scott Derrickson; Black Panther 2 from Ryan Coogler; and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3., James Gunn’s triumphant return to the MCU. Eternals may touch on Fury’s space exploits again, but an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 would drop him into a story with characters that he could have theoretically met before. (Far From Home director Jon Watts told me that the Fury who appeared at Tony Stark’s funeral was the real Fury, not Talos in disguise. Keep an eye out for that full interview in the coming days.) Perhaps Fury and Hill will help Star-Lord and the gang in their search for Gamora after she disappeared following the climactic battle of Avengers: Endgame.

captain marvel deleted scene

What About Captain Marvel 2?

While a second Captain Marvel solo film hasn’t officially been announced yet, it’s clear that Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) has a special relationship with the Skrulls: the first movie ends with her flying off into space to help the surviving members of the alien race find and establish a new homeworld. It seems probable that Talos and the rest of the Skrulls could play a significant role in her further adventures, whether it’s an in-between movie that tracks their joint adventures between the 1990s and the early 2020s on their search for a new world, or something that picks up after the events of Far From Home, with Danvers possibly reuniting with Talos and Soren on Earth or meeting up with Fury on the Skrull ship. Regardless, I did not expect for us to be having this conversation after Spider-Man: Far From Home, of all things, so I have to give a tip of the hat to the writers, director, and producers for keeping us on our toes in what would otherwise have been a relatively simple, straightforward Spidey sequel.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters now.

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