2019 will be the year of the Skrulls as they are appearing in two back-to-back Marvel movies. The malevolent alien shapeshifters are the villains of Captain Marvel, which premieres on March 8, 2019. But just a couple of weeks before, a very different version of the Skrulls is expected to also appear in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which releases on February 14th. In addition, both films are coincidentally set in the 1990s, which makes it the Skrull decade!
A sudden invasion of Skrulls at the movies is fitting for the green extraterrestrials, who are known for lying in wait and insidiously infiltrating human society. The Skrulls are among the oldest alien races in the Marvel Universe; they are best known for The Kree-Skrull War told in the pages of The Avengers and for the damage they caused when they impersonated many key Marvel characters in Secret Invasion.
However, the Skrulls in Captain Marvel, which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, won't be the same as the version showing up in Dark Phoenix. This is similar to how the MCU had an Infinity Stone-powered version of Quicksilver, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who was entirely different from the mutant speedster played by Evan Peters in the X-Men films. It's also uncertain if the Skulls, or some similar stand-in species, will appear in Dark Phoenix.
The Skrulls In X-Men: Dark Phoenix - Or Are They?
The Skrulls were first rumored to be part of Dark Phoenix in October of 2017 when details were revealed about the Simon Kinberg-directed film, which is his second attempt to adapt The Dark Phoenix Saga comics story. The X-Men fight shape-changing aliens in Dark Phoenix, and the Skrulls rumor was fueled in part by Jessica Chastain's villain, who was rumored to be an alien shapeshifter (though a different rumor says she may actually be playing Miss Sinister). However, after a test screening of Dark Phoenix earlier this year, conflicting reports surfaced that the Skrulls are not actually in the film. At the least, the name "Skrulls" was not mentioned according to the report, although the X-Men do fight alien shapeshifters.
Since then, Dark Phoenix was pushed back from its November 2018 release to Valentine's Day 2019 to accommodate reshoots, which are said to beef up the third act of the movie, but they could also see some other changes made to the story. Overall, it's possible Dark Phoenix will be showcasing their own version of the Skrulls since their universe is separate from the MCU.
However, given things have since changed and Disney now owns the X-Men rights, it's also possible the name "Skrulls" could still be added late in post-production, perhaps to tether the X-Men to the MCU for the mutants' future arrival. At the same time, Marvel could want to keep this iteration of the X-Men franchise distinctly separate from the MCU, avoiding as many similarities as possible. Still, since there's no footage of Dark Phoenix released by the studio and little info confirmed, fans don't yet have an idea of what X-Men's version of the Skrulls even look like.
The Skrulls Are Definitely in Captain Marvel
Thanks to the recent reveal in Entertainment Weekly, fans know for sure the Skrulls will appear in Captain Marvel. Though their appearance slightly differs from the concept art released last year, the shapeshifting race is now confirmed to be part of the MCU in all of their green-skinned, pointy-eared, ridge-jawed glory. What's more, the Skrulls are led by Talos the Untamed, a warlord played by Ben Mendelsohn, and just like in the comics, the green aliens are the sworn enemies of the Kree, which counts the half-human/half-Kree Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) herself among their ranks as a member of the elite Starforce.
What the Skrulls' ultimate plans are for Kree and for Earth will be answered in Captain Marvel, but perhaps even more fun for fans will be comparing the MCU's Skrulls to the version in X-Men: Dark Phoenix. This should ignite endless Skrull vs. Skrull debates about which incarnation of the alien shapeshifters are ultimately better.