Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury has been the backbone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since his post-credits scene debut in 2008's Iron Man. Since then, the character has appeared in 10 other MCU films, including The Avengers, Captain America: Winter Soldier, and Captain Marvel.
Jackson is set to return once again as Director Fury in the upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion. Following the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Far From Home, which revealed Fury and Maria Hill were Skrulls, Secret Invasion promises to continue that story. Secret Invasion stars Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Cobie Smulders, and Emilia Clarke.
Despite Nick Fury's impressive number of MCU appearances, Jackson believes there is one film where the supersecret spy should've been involved.
Samuel L. Jackson Wanted to Appear in Civil War
During a recent actors roundtable by The Hollywood Reporter, a group of thespians including Tom Hiddleston, Oscar Isaac, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson got on the topic of comic book movies. During their conversation, Jackson revealed that he still "fuss(es)" at Marvel about Fury not being included in Captain America: Civil War.
"...I still fuss at them, about Civil War because I’m like, 'How could the kids fight and Nick Fury not show up?' Like, 'What’s going on here? Everybody go to your room. But they didn’t need me for that. They did, but they didn’t."
Jackson praised the idea that within the MCU, once a character has been seen and developed, it "gives everybody an opportunity to come and bring a personality."
"A down moment for you is an up moment. But all those things are there and you have an opportunity to do it, and they give you that leeway to feel your way into that. Once they see you and know who you are, that gives everybody an opportunity to come and bring a personality. That was the thing about the Avengers movies, they all had different personalities and they were able to blossom once we got through the initial film. The initial film was to introduce these people to who they are and these are the things they can do. Now, this is how they interact and they’re not all nice."
When asked if he had any hesitation and what he was most looking forward to in Secret Invasion, Jackson said a show could show Fury not at work and "you get to show even superheroes have their down moments."
"Well, I can have a whole life as Nick Fury that’s not Nick Fury at work. You know, we get to go home with me and see what happens with me at home or when I’m alone or when I’m not so strong and Nick Fury, or when I take off a back brace because Nick Fury is old. (Laughs.) Some things that you can do that you can’t normally do [in the films] because the character has to present this (trumpeting heroically) duh-dunna-duh kind of front, and that’s what the movies are for. And when you get to do it in longform, you get to show even superheroes have their down moments."
Why Wasn't Fury in Civil War?
Samuel L. Jackson does make a good point. He helped bring the team back together in Avengers: Age of Ultron and even appeared in the previous Captain America film. Wouldn't Nick Fury had an opinion on the Sokovia Accords? Maybe Fury sending all the Avengers "to your room" would've made the plot less intriguing.
Nick Fury's presence in the MCU has been more sporadic since 2016. He didn't appear in Civil War, only a post-credits scene in Avengers: Infinity War, a quick pan to him in Avengers: Endgame, then a pivotal role in Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Fury's character arc has been trending less toward the leader of the Avengers and more focused on the MCU Cosmic branch. Jackson's confirmed future appearances are in Secret Wars and The Marvels, two projects promising to feature off-world, cosmic adventures.
Rewinding to 2016, just as Jackson pointed out, Fury acting as the father-like figure when all the Avengers weren't getting along would've made sense but probably wouldn't have helped the plot. Civil War also saw a shift from the Avengers being a privatized superhero team to a government-controlled unit, held in check by the late William Hurt playing General Thunderbolt Ross.
Would Nick Fury in Civil War have made sense? Certainly. Was it necessary? Absolutely not.
The character development that needed to happen for the greater Infinity Saga storyline was set up expertly for Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. Meanwhile, Fury's character started steering toward his future of Skrulls, Captain Marvel, and Spider-Man.
Secret Invasion is expected to release on Disney+ in 2023, and The Marvels is set to hit theaters on July 28, 2023.