Secret Invasion director discusses season finale and mixed reviews

Secret Invasion director discusses season finale and mixed reviews

Secret Invasion director Ali Selim discusses the recent season finale of the Marvel series as well as the mixed reviews it has received.

SPOILERS for Secret Invasion. Consider yourself warned. Marvel’s Secret Invasion series on Disney+ concluded earlier this week, but the season finale seems to have left fans underwhelmed. Ali Selim, who directed all six episodes of the series, spoke with Variety about the mixed reviews Secret Invasion has received.

Oh, I don’t read reviews,” Ali Selim said. “With all due respect. For me, I view all the storytelling work I do as a dialogue with an audience. When the show is finished and put up on the screen, that’s my half of the dialogue. And the audience then starts their half of the response to it. I think that’s valuable, but I don’t know. I don’t know how to answer the question.

Selim continued, “I don’t feel bad about mixed reviews. If you had unanimously good reviews, every movie would gross $10 billion, trillion dollars, right? [Projects] resonate with different people at different times for different reasons, and Marvel has a very devoted — even rabid — fan base who have expectations and when their expectations aren’t fulfilled, they move in the other direction; they give it a thumbs down. I don’t know — is it our job to fulfill their expectations? Or to tell the story that we’re telling? So, it’s a tricky thing. I would love it if everybody loved it, but I also don’t have that expectation myself, so I feel great about the response to it.

When it comes to whether the Secret Invasion finale is a season or series finale, Ali Selim referred to it as a “season finale,” but admitted that he doesn’t know about a possible second season. The finale did leave a number of threads which could be picked up for a second season (or another MCU project), including G’iah becoming the most powerful being in the MCU thanks to absorbing powers from dozens of Marvel heroes. When it came to deciding which powers to showcase, Ali Selim said they weren’t restricted.

Well, simply put, it comes from Kevin Feige, who says, “It’s all fair game.” That’s best expressed in the moment when Gravik takes the vial from Nick Fury, puts it in the computer where it is analyzed, and we see all the pure superpowers ever. That’s like the moment where we’re like, “OK, this is going to be something.”

The super-powered battle between G’iah and Gravik went through a lot of variations, as the progression from storyboarding to stunt work to visual effects each led to revelations about what worked and what didn’t. “I had two storyboard artists working on it — Aaron Sows in L.A., who’s a Marvel fanatic, and Ian McCaffrey in Dublin, Ireland, who is a little more of a choreographer and less involved in the MCU. And together, the two of them found a rhythm between superpowers that had meaning and superpowers that had choreography and elegance,” Selim explained. “Then those storyboards go to stunts, and stunts work out that some of those movements are impossible to do. And then it goes to visual effects [who] say, ‘I know this is what we planned, but it looks funny, so let’s maybe go from this arm to a different arm, because we want it to be more elegant.’ So, the decisions are Kevin Feige, then story and then just practicality.

What did you think of the Secret Invasion season finale?