It’s no secret that Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War featured a huge ensemble cast that basically made the film read like The Avengers 2.5, but one central character was left off the screen and out of the story: Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. That’s a pretty big gap in the cast considering that Fury, as the former director of S.H.I.E.L.D., originally brought The Avengers together as a super-powered team that could assemble to battle bigger threats than mere mortals could handle on their own. So what gives?
The LA Times asked that very question of Captain America: Civil War screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who are currently “locked in a room” while working on drafts of the Avengers: Infinity War movies. While Fury’s absence was a conspicuous one in Captain America: Civil War, surely it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll return for that even-more-epic two-movie event, right?
Before we get to the answer, let’s revisit our most recent time with Mr. Jackson’s comic book character. When last we saw Fury, it was in Avengers: Age of Ultron where, after faking his death and taking out Ultron’s sentries, he gave Natasha Romanoff the parting words:
“Trouble, Ms. Romanoff. No matter who wins or loses, trouble still comes around.”
That’s an interesting philosophical stance, especially considering the idealogical divide at the center of the latest Captain America-centric flick. Let’s see what Markus and McFeely had to say about Fury’s absence:
I’m curious. Where was Fury?
STEPHEN MCFEELY: I’m curious too!
CHRISTOPHER MARKUS: We called him, but he let the line blink. Primarily it felt like one too many possible opinions. We didn’t want him to take one side or the other, because that’s not his place in the universe. And then we didn’t want another, “Is he still with the government? Is he opposed to the government but supporting the government?” It got to be the potential for a lot more polemic discussion that the movie did not have room for.
He’s the guy who put it together. He’s been the sort of parent figure to the Avengers. Let the parent go away, and see if the kids can handle this. See if the kids can be who they’re supposed to be without that governing voice. Um… and they didn’t do that good of a job.
Are we going to see him in “Infinity Wars?”
MCFEELY: I would think.
MARKUS: It’s probably all hands on deck.
MCFEELY: Don’t you assume you’ll see everybody in the “Infinity Wars?”
A good question, considering that the comic book version of “Infinity War” features pretty much everyone under the Marvel-shaped sun; yes, more on-screen characters battling than even those featured in Captain America: Civil War. If Fury is a safe bet, it’s an even safer one to say that Markus and McFeely are going to have to do some major editing in their adaptation process. As Markus put it:
“Explaining quickly something that is going to be just completely incomprehensible to the average person is a tough one,” but he’s “heartened by the popularity of things like Game of Thrones where even the people who read the books and really love the show don’t always know what’s going on. Knowing 100% what a warg is, it’s not essential to the enjoyment of the show.” (We’d disagree, but I digress.)
Personally, I think leaving Fury out of the mix was a good choice for the reasons they mentioned, even though his absence was keenly felt. Fret not, barring some unforeseen turn of events, we’ll likely be reuniting with Fury some time in 2018.