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Nick Fury, as played by Samuel L. Jackson, has been a cornerstone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You could argue that the MCU wouldn’t really exist had Fury not approached Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at the end of Iron Man, and the former S.H.I.E.L.D. head has been integral in the maturation of the Avengers, both as a team and as a franchise. But is it possible that Marvel’s ready to put Nick Fury on ice for a few years? It sure sounds that way.
While promoting the action film Big Game, Samuel L. Jackson confirmed to Collider that he was not in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, which is filming in Atlanta as we speak. The actor explained:
I can’t figure that out, but I’m not [in it]. I guess I’m still out there, trying to figure out what happened to S.H.I.E.L.D. and who these other people are."
This is unusual because damn near every other member of the MCU is down for a Civil War appearance. Forget the towering figures of Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). We also have reported that Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Paul Bettany, Paul Rudd, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman and an as-yet-uncast Spider-Man are down to appear in Civil War. We know Martin Freeman has a significant role, and Frank Grillo’s Crossbones will be causing problems.
But no Nick Fury? Apparently not.
This makes even less sense when you start to look ahead to Marvel’s Phase 3, because there aren’t a lot of viable options for Nick Fury outside of Civil War. A cameo for the covert government agent would seem unusual in Doctor Strange, scheduled for November 2016. Likewise, Nick Fury isn’t a natural fit in either of the announced sequels, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 or Thor: Ragnarok. If I had to place a bet on Nick Fury showing up in ANY Marvel movie prior to the first part of Joe and Anthony Russo’s The Avengers: Infinity War, it would be in the planned 2017 reboot of Spider-Man. Maybe he can recruit a young Peter Parker the way that he went after Stark so many years ago.
Basically, we all just assumed that Nick Fury would have a role in Captain America: Civil War, whether small or significant. But if what Samuel L. Jackson said is true, then it may be years before we see the eye-patched warrior on screen in an MCU movie again.