This should be a week of celebration in geekland, with Warner Bros. and Fox close to nearing an agreement that will get Watchmen in theaters. But all is not well in the world of comics adaptations. Watchmen is on track, but now it looks like Marvel Studios is about to do something very stupid with their upcoming Avengers themed superhero flicks: They may fire Samuel L. Jackson.

If you hung around till the very end of Iron Man you saw Sam Jackson pull a cameo as the noteworthy Marvel universe character Nick Fury. The plan, or so we were all told, was to give the character a larger role in subsequent Marvel films, with Sam playing him all the way through. Today in the LA Times though, Jackson reveals that negotiations between he and Marvel have broken down. Says Sam, “there seems to be an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world.” Sounds like he’s having trouble getting paid.

The worst thing about all of this is that Jackson says as recently as a week ago he talked to Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau and was told they’re busily writing stuff for him to do in the sequel. But a week later Sam says he talked to his manager and negotiations between he and Marvel “aren't really working that well.” Jackson explains, “There was a huge kind of negotiation that broke down. I don't know. Maybe I won't be Nick Fury. Maybe somebody else will be Nick Fury or maybe Nick Fury won't be in it.”

Marvel still insists they wan him in the role, so it sounds like they really are just wrestling over money. Actually this sounds a lot like a negotiating tactic on the part of Sam. Fans with long memories will remember that Jon Favreau pulled a similar stunt a few months ago while negotiating his new contract with the studio. When fans hard Marvel might be playing cheap with its star director, the resulting fanboy outrage helped push Marvel into giving Jon everything he wanted. Maybe Jackson is trying to pull something similar.

Or maybe this is Terrence Howard all over again. The studio has already shown a willingness to drop integral actors and replace them with people willing to work cheaper. I hope not. Iron Man 2 needs more Sam.

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