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The Reason Martin Freeman Is Unsure About His Marvel Future

Contains spoilers for "Secret Invasion" Season 1, Episode 6 — "Home"

When it comes to Marvel Cinematic Universe fixtures, most fans seem to forget about characters that exist in the franchise's periphery. Yes, the MCU is concerned with the galaxy's most profound and powerful superheroes, but what about the mere mortals who keep the world running? Take Martin Freeman for example, who has been consistently appearing in the MCU since his debut in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War." Freeman stars in the series as CIA agent Everett Ross, who ends up dealing with the Avengers' temper tantrums in the "Captain America" threequel. The character later found himself brushing shoulders with T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) in "Black Panther," becoming one of the few non-Wakandans to see the technologically-advanced country. 

Freeman later returned as Ross in a pivotal role for "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," going up against the nefarious Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who also happens to be his ex-wife. Now, as the MCU continues to expand on Disney+, Ross has returned for "Secret Invasion," dealing with Skrull antics.

While Freeman seems like an ace in the franchise who is bound to show up when the narrative demands a CIA agent, the actor is unsure about the next steps in Kevin Feige's superhero toybox. "No. I never think I've got a future in the MCU," the English actor candidly told Collider. For Freeman, his future in the billion-dollar franchise seems like a giant question mark because he's not one of Marvel's leading players. "I'm definitely on the subs bench," he continued. "I'm a good little substitute. I can come on when needed, for about five minutes at the end of the game," Freeman added, reminding audiences of how Ross is mostly just thrown into projects as a supporting star.

Secret Invasion confirms Martin Freeman's uncertainty

Martin Freeman isn't exactly wrong he says that he comes on when needed. The character has always been thrown into situations to serve as an exposition dump, where other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can feed him information. In turn, that information is explained to the audience. In the "Black Panther" franchise, he primarily operated as an audience surrogate, existing as an outsider who is filled with glee and awe as he witnesses the marvels of Wakanda.

In "Secret Invasion," the character is used early on in the series to demonstrate how no one — not even characters who have popped up in the MCU numerous times — is safe from being a Skrull. The Disney+ series opened with the revelation Everett Ross is a Skrull. Freeman, however, believes that "Secret Invasion" is the first time that Ross has been shown to the audience as the shape-shifter, telling Collider that he doesn't "wanna believe he's been a Skrull this whole time." The actor continued by highlighting Ross as a strong, noble countryman, who genuinely believes he's doing the right thing. "I've enjoyed playing him as an organic human man, so I don't wanna lose him to Skrulldom," he continued. "So, no, Ross, for me, is not a Skrull."

Belief is one thing, but facts are another. Ross is indeed a Skrull in "Secret Invasion" but luckily, he won't always be one. The series wraps up by showing Ross alive and well as one of Gravik's (Kingsley Ben-Adir) abductees. With Freeman's future in the MCU uncertain, it's unclear if audiences will learn more about Ross' time while he was kidnapped. 

Martin Freeman says future Marvel appearances are a bonus

While it remains to be seen what the future has in store for Everett Ross, especially after "Secret Invasion," it's all but likely that Martin Freeman will return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After all, the actor has been operating as a supporting player for nearly a decade, and chances are that Marvel wants to keep him around, especially as more conflicts brew up. With Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Dreyfus) set to be a major player in the MCU, it makes sense that Freeman will show up as her opposition — especially after the events of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."

There are a number of scenarios where Freeman could show up, especially as the Marvel franchise continues to focus on heroes who are taking care of Earth. Regardless of what the future holds, Freeman is ready for his next gig as Everest Ross, telling Collider that "whenever it happens, it's a lovely bonus." It will certainly be interesting to see Ross in a future MCU project, where he has to reel from the fact that the world believes he's a Skrull.