Marvel Fans Furious Over Secret Invasion AI Opening Credits

Following media backlash for using AI art in Secret Invasion, the studio responsible for the art asserted that no jobs were replaced.

By TeeJay Small | Updated

Despite the series’ entire premise centering on aliens secretly replacing human beings, Marvel’s latest Disney+ outing, Secret Invasion, has employed the use of artificial intelligence to replace human VFX artists for its opening credits. Though the irony seemed to be lost on the studio upon release, the visual effects team has now clarified that no human beings have lost their jobs due to the stylistic choice, according to a new write-up in The Hollywood Reporter. See some of the artwork below.

Method Studios, who created the opening credits, claims that AI imaging was used only in a supporting role to assist human creators.

As AI imaging technology has continued to get better and better, many Hollywood insiders have become increasingly concerned about the use of artificial intelligence in the creative field. Use of AI is one of the major sticking points of the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, as well as a major controversy for Marvel’s newly released premiere of Secret Invasion.

Visual effects artists have been infamously mistreated for years, forced to work long hours for little pay, and often go uncredited, with each humungous Marvel outing placing continual strain on the limited Human Resources available for rendering the complex CGI necessary to make the films watchable.

If it’s true that AI was implemented in order to support the visual effects artist and make their lives easier, that could be seen as a win for the industry, but only if major studios such as Marvel can agree to pay their workers more money, including those who placed their blood, sweet, and pixelated tears into Secret Invasion.

It also makes thematic sense that the series’ opening credits would look uncanny and off-putting, providing a deep sense of unease within the viewer as we settle in to watch Samuel L. Jackson‘s Nick Fury ward off an intergalactic force which threatens to replace humanity.

Another shot of the AI-generated art from Secret Invasion

Method Studios have previously provided Marvel with VFX work on Disney+ series such as Ms. Marvel, Loki, Moon Knight, and others before signing on for Secret Invasion. So it’s also possible that their servers and human designers have been stretched quite thin with the intense workload.

However, this narrative seems to conflict with comments made by series director Ali Selim, who previously stated in an interview that he wasn’t particularly aware of how AI functions, but expressed that he would pass along themes and ideas to the VFX team which they would then run through to computer to produce the images.

While it seems we are still a long journey away from artificial intelligence that can produce creative content without any human input, the increasing reliance on the software has created fear in a number of workers across many fields in Hollywood, as noted by the WGA strike‘s ongoing efforts to keep ChatGPT out of the writer’s room.

Whether or not Marvel’s use of AI in Secret Invasion caused VFX artists to lose money remains unclear at this time, but it’s chilling just to think about it. If there’s one thing audiences can learn from watching Secret Invasion, it’s that we as humans cannot allow ourselves to be replaced by Skrulls… or robotic algorithms.