He’s been clawed at by a cat, told off by Captain America, and dusted by Thanos’ snap. No matter. The actor behind the iconic Nick Fury, Samuel L. Jackson, has no plans to leave the Marvel Cinematic Universe anytime soon.
Although he played surprisingly small parts in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Fury is still very much with us, appearing in the latest MCU movie Spider-Man: Far from Home. And if Jackson has his way, he’ll keep the eyepatch on for quite a while, even if he does get mad about where Marvel puts it.
We’ll take a look at how Fury has progressed through the MCU and why Jackson wants to hang around even though he’s one of Hollywood’s busiest actors.
Nick Fury got the MCU party started
It would be a stretch to say that Fury is the heart of the MCU — that role would be better suited to Tony Stark, who had to prove that he had one. However, it would absolutely fit to call Fury the launchpad. Ever since he appeared in the post-credits scene of Iron Man, it was clear he would be the driving force. Without him, there would be no Avengers.
Fury proved instrumental in the first phase of Marvel’s world, gathering together members of the team and taking little guff while doing it. It was in the second phase where things really got gritty for Fury, as he learned that Hydra was integrated into his organization SHIELD. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, events got so serious that Fury had to fake his own death.
Fury resurfaced by the time of Avengers: Age of Ultron, but the Avengers broke apart after the events of Captain: America: Civil War, leaving Nick Fury sidelined for most of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. His appearance in the former was quite memorable for what he almost said as he succumbed to Thanos’ snap, but not before summoning Captain Marvel.
The movie Captain Marvel, which took place mostly in the 1990s, enabled us to see a younger Fury and learn how he lost his eye. This was a more freewheeling Fury than we’d seen before, with Jackson having breezy chemistry with Brie Larson. Now it looks like Fury plays a prominent role as Spider-Man’s minder in Far From Home, whether Spider-Man wants him too or not.
Why Samuel L. Jackson wants to stay in the MCU
The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Jackson, noting that he “would happily play the part into his 80s. “I could be the Alec Guinness of Marvel movies,” the 70-year-old suggests.
It’s no small wonder since The Hollywood Reporter estimated that Jackson’s movies have made a massive $13 billion worldwide. And of course, a significant chunk of that comes from the MCU. It helps that Jackson is a major comic fan who had a box of titles set aside for him at his regular comic shop. That’s how he found out Marvel had used his likeness for Nick Fury, and this was before the MCU came along. Marvel apologized and said they would put him in the movies — if Marvel could ever get them going.
Samuel L. Jackson is everywhere
The joke goes that Jackson is in every other movie that comes out. That’s not strictly true, but his IMDB page lists an astonishing 184 credits, with seven this year alone. One of the reasons that he was so excited when Spike Lee won an Oscar this year was that Lee helped him rise to prominence with roles in School Daze and Do the Right Thing.
Jackson’s career truly exploded after his indelible turn in Pulp Fiction, which got him his only Oscar nomination so far. The role of Jules was so iconic that Marvel even made his famous Ezekiel speech part of Fury’s grave in Winter Soldier. Jackson’s ubiquity has made him the subject of many an Internet meme and YouTube video that, for instance, make Jackson the voice of Darth Vader.
Jackson is only too aware of this, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “I’m a walking T-shirt.”