Iron Man may be the first hero to appear on-screen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it was arguably Samuel L. Jackson who actually created that shared cinematic universe when he uttered those now-famous words “I’m here to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative” in 2008. And now, after co-starring and cameoing in more than half the MCU titles since (not to mention “dying” in two movies), Jackson is finally going to headline one of his own!
That’s the word this weekend past from Variety who claim to have heard from multiple sources that the 71-year-old actor will be reprising his fan-favourite role as the MCU’s one-eyed superspy in an upcoming Nick Fury TV series on Disney+. Story details are non-existent right now, but it’s believed that Mr Robot writer/producer Kyle Bradstreet is attached as showrunner. Disney and Marvel are yet to officially confirm the report.
I’ll be guessing that this series will be set way down the line in the MCU though. Marvel boss Kevin Feige has already laid out the comic book film studio’s Disney+ series plans for the next few years (WandaVision, The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Moon Knight), and they don’t include a Nick Fury show.
On top of that, the last time we saw Jackson in the role was [SPOILER ALERT] during the post-credits scene of last year’s Spider-Man: Far From Home where it was revealed that the Fury who had been dealing with Spidey throughout the movie was actually the Skrull shapeshifter Talos (whom Fury met in his younger years during the events of the 1990s-set Captain Marvel) while the real Fury was seemingly on a vacation in deep space on a Skrull spaceship. It’s believed that this scene will somehow link up with the upcoming Captain Marvel 2 which will almost certainly not take place on Earth as well. So either this newly revealed series deals with those same cosmic events or we’ll only be catching up to Fury when he’s back on-planet.
Just how Jackson first came to play Nick Fury is fun little anecdote as traditionally the character in the comics is an older white guy. However, in the early 2000s, Marvel Comics launched the Marvel Ultimate imprint in which they rebooted a number of their biggest characters with modern sensibilities and no complex continuity in order to draw in new readers. And for the Ultimates, the Marvel Ultimate version of the Avengers, writer Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch wanted to give their comic a blockbuster feel similar to how they thought an Avengers live-action movie would play out. As part of this, they decided to model their new new version of Fury on the prolific movie star who Millar called “the coolest man alive”. And they did it without Jackson’s permission.
When Jackson, an avid comic book reader, found out that his likeness was used, he loved it. But he still contacted Marvel at the time and said they could only keep using his face if he had a first refusal option to any film in which they wanted to use Nick Fury (in other words, they have to offer him the role before anybody else) Of course, at the time, the MCU was still just a pipe dream so not much was thought of agreeing to Jackson’s terms, but six years later, production on Iron Man came around and Jackson actually agreed when offered the role, signing a nine-film deal. Jackson’s subsequent portrayal on-screen of Fury has been so popular, that the mainstream Marvel Comics universe version of Nick Fury has since also been rebooted to boast a strong resemblance.
Jackson’s deal with Marvel actually expired with Captain Marvel, but he has indicated that he enjoys playing the role so much that he will continue to do so when needed. And that apparently includes a TV series.
Last Updated: September 28, 2020