‘Marvel’s Secret Invasion’ AI Credits Spark Controversy 

© Disney+

Marvel’s newest TV show has already stirred up controversy with its first episode.

Secret Invasion, following Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), as he returns to Earth to confront the chaos caused by the Skrulls during his absence, has been highly anticipated since the shapeshifting aliens were introduced in 2019’s Captain Marvel. However, the show’s opening credits ignited a furious backlash against the series once executive producer Ali Selim revealed that they were generated using AI tools. 

The credits themselves have an ominous and unsettling quality, with key characters melting into the background of each scene, effectively conveying the shadowy and secretive nature of the Skrull invasion. While the art style of the credits may feel unnatural, particularly with the shot merging Nick Fury’s face with that of a Skrull, this intentional art style aligns with the eerie tone and thematic elements of the show. The true controversy stems from the use of AI in a creative field.

In an interview with Polygon, Selim defended the use of AI as “explorative and inevitable”. However, it is precisely this notion of inevitability that raises concerns. In the midst of the WGA strike, artists are already fearful about their job security, and the growing reliance on AI only exacerbates this uncertainty. Artificial intelligence has the potential to be used as a cost-cutting measure for large companies; a disconcerting concept to ponder. Marvel has also faced backlash in the past over poor working conditions and pay for VFX artists on their big-budget projects, so the casual use of AI for a creative role is a concerning choice.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on 21 June, Method Studios, which created the opening, clarified that “No artists’ jobs were replaced by incorporating these new tools.” Despite this reassurance, the use of AI by a company as powerful and influential as Marvel could establish a dangerous precedent. While no artists were replaced by AI on this particular project, the question remains: if production costs soar or setbacks occur, could Secret Invasion’s credits foreshadow a future where AI fully takes over artistic roles?

Words by Emily Nutbean

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