Because he was among the half of the universe that was turned to dust by Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. head Nick Fury wasn’t in Avengers: Endgame for that long. In fact, he only had a couple of seconds of screen time during Tony Stark’s funeral. However, evidently there was a point during Endgame’s development where not only would Fury have had a bigger role in the movie, but things wouldn’t have ended well for him. Take a look:
Shared by artist Stephen Schirle on his Instagram page, here we have Nick Fury being stabbed by Corvus Glaive, one of the members of Thanos’ Black Order. Since Nick Fury and the rest of the people lost in The Decimation weren’t brought back to life until two-thirds of the way through Avengers: Endgame, it’s likely this moment would have occurred during the movie’s final battle, though it’s unclear where this is taking place.
Unlike all the superheroes who were brought back by Hulk’s harnessing of the Infinity Stones, Nick Fury did not take place in the conflict against 2014 Thanos and his forces. However, in an alternate version of Avengers: Endgame, Fury gets drawn into the action and pays the ultimate price. I mean, maybe there’s a slim chance he somehow survived that attack and made it our of the movie alive, but given how Endgame marked the culmination of the Infinity Saga, which Fury had been part of since the beginning, something tells me he would have died in this version of events.
Ultimately it was decided to go in a different direction with Avengers: Endgame, but this can be added to the pile of fun ‘what ifs,’ like how we could have seen Ant-Man commanding giant ants to take on Thanos’ Leviathans. And while Nick Fury wasn’t in the final version of Endgame for that long, 2019 was still a big year for the character, as Captain Marvel followed the character in 1995, when he first met Carol Danvers and lost his eye.
So since Nick Fury didn’t die in Avengers: Endgame, what’s he up to now? Well, while it was initially believed that he recruited Peter Parker to work with Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio, to take on The Elementals in Spider-Man: Far From Home, it turned out that this was actually Fury’s Skrull ally Talos disguised as him, while his wife Soren was pretending to be Fury’s second-in-command, Maria Hill.
The real Nick Fury was actually on vacation aboard a Skrull spaceship elsewhere in the cosmos, though when Talos called and informed him about how things went sideways with Mysterio, Fury wrapped up his time off and told the other Skrulls to get back to work. That’s the last we’ve seen of him in the MCU so far, and there’s no word on when he’ll show up again.
Nick Fury dying in Avengers: Endgame would have been another powerful way to bring the Infinity Saga to a close, but with Black Widow and Iron Man already meeting their demises, as well as Captain America retiring from the superhero life, I can understand why it was decided to leave the spy alone. Besides, given the size of Endgame’s ensemble, it was to be expected that certain characters would have to sit on the sidelines, and Fury drew the short straw this time around.
Although S.H.I.E.L.D. is still disbanded in the MCU (well, on the big screen side of it, anyway), judging by the resources that Talos had at his disposal in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Nick Fury is keeping up his spy work, so perhaps we’ll spot him again in another Earth-set movie. On the other hand, given his relationship with Carol Danvers and that he’s hanging out with the Skrulls, perhaps Fury could resurface in the forthcoming Captain Marvel 2.
Either way, as long as Nick Fury’s still drawing breath, the chances of him appearing in the MCU again are strong. And even if he was dead, I’m sure someone would find a way to include him through flashbacks, dream sequences, hallucinations, etc. Rest assured, if word comes in about Samuel L. Jackson reprising Fury, we’ll be sure to let you know.
In the meantime, keep track of what Marvel movies are coming out in Phase 4 and beyond with our comprehensive guide.