Samuel L. Jackson is one of the longest-tenured actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, serving as a consistent figure of the franchise ever since the Infinity Saga. The MCU veteran has portrayed Nick Fury in 11 different projects, from 2008's Iron Man all the way to 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home. Two more projects will be added to his resume as he is set to make a comeback as the former SHIELD director in Secret Invasion and The Marvels.
Even though Jackson has played Fury for more than a decade, the actor is still passionate about the role, as evidenced by his exciting social media posts about Secret Invasion and the Brie Larson-led Captain Marvel sequel. Based on the current track record, it's safe to assume that Jackson isn't going anywhere, as Fury's MCU adventures continue in two potentially game-changing projects for the franchise.
Now, as Jackson gears up for his comeback, the actor has shared more interesting details about his portrayal of Nick Fury.
Samuel L. Jackson and his Nick Fury Expertise
Samuel L. Jackson sat down with Collider to talk about his experience portraying Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
When asked how much he tweaks Fury's dialogue during production, Jackson admitted that "it depends" since he already knows "what he sounds like" and "how he thinks." The MCU veteran continued by revealing that there are directors who tell him to say a specific line based on a specific delivery:
"It depends. I’ve been doing Nick Fury for so long, I know what he sounds like and I know how he thinks and how he feels. I know writers sit at home and write. If the writer is a fan of that kind of thing – the superhero genre – they know how to do it. I’ve had directors who have written comic books, so when they say, 'Say it the way I wrote it,” you can go, “Okay, so we’re doing comic book speak.” Then, I’ll have directors who’ll say, 'Say it like Nick Fury would say it,” or 'Say it like you as Nick Fury would say it,' which means, 'Say it like Jules (from Pulp Fiction) or Ordell (from Jackie Brown), or any of those smart-ass characters that you’ve played before. Help me.' And I can accept that too."
Jackson then unveiled how he helps writers to rewrite how Nick Fury says things during a scene, with him putting the person involved to the side and saying "'Look, I know you wrote this, but this is a better way to say that as Nick Fury:'"
"But there are times, when I’m in the midst of doing or studying the lines for the next day or the scene that we’re doing, that I can tell, 'The writer knows what he wants to say, but he hadn’t said it, so let me help,' and I’ll write it. And then, the next day when I go in, I’ll pull that person to the side and say, 'Look, I know you wrote this, but this is a better way to say that as Nick Fury,' and they’ll go, 'Oh my God. Well, you’re Nick Fury, so yeah.'”
Meanwhile, when Jackson is asked if it's still a fun experience to play the character after all these years, Jackson said that it is since he proudly proclaims that he loves the character, saying that "it's very satisfying to be a part of a world that I [have] admired for so long when [he] was a kid:"
"Yeah. I love Nick Fury. Of course. Come on. He’s a guy who has no superpowers, who’s in charge of people who have superpowers, and they let him be. That’s something special about him. He’s a leader of men that are very different, in another kind of way. It’s very satisfying to be a part of a world that I admired for so long when I was a kid. I still buy comic books. I still go to comic book stores. I still read them. But to be able to be that character in that, it’s the same as when I was doing Afro Samurai, or any of those comic book characters. It means something to be part of a cultural canon that people revere and that they respect, in another way."
Nick Fury's Intriguing MCU Future
Having played the character for a long time, Jackson clearly knows the ins and outs of portraying Nick Fury. The actor's knowledge combined with his long tenure proves valuable for Marvel screenwriters as it allows them to explore the character even more while still staying true to his roots.
Given that the actor is open to collaboration between writers and directors, this opens up more opportunities to maintain continuity for the character. The fact that Jackson doesn't simply stand pat and take everything that he's told for any Nick Fury-related direction also cements the idea that his passion for the role is still there, which is significant considering his long MCU tenure.
Within the MCU's story, it's currently unknown if Fury will be revealed as a Skrull impostor during Secret Invasion.
Based on Jackson's reveal, it's possible that the writers of the show are asking him specific questions about the character to avoid spoiling the twist for fans if Fury does end up as one of the lurking Skrulls on Earth. There's a chance that Jackson would give them tips on how to consistently write dialogue that would still allow the viewers to distinguish that the one speaking is the real Nick Fury and not an impostor.
Secret Invasion is set to start streaming on Disney+ sometime in 2023.