When Samuel L. Jackson first appeared as Nick Fury in the post-credits scene for Iron Man, fans understandably went wild. It signaled the promise of S.H.I.E.L.D. and maybe even an Avengers storyline down the road, but few expected Jackson to be as ever-present in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as he became. The actor signed on for a then-unheard-of nine films in his contract, but with appearances in seven Marvel films thus far, that ginormous agreement is coming to an end.
Collider reporter Christina Radish recently spoke with Jackson in anticipation of his upcoming film Big Game, and during the course of their conversation the actor spoke enthusiastically about his tenure at Marvel:
“It’s an amazing amount of fun. I finally met [comics writer] Mark [Millar], last year, when I was doing Kingsman, ‘cause he was on set one day, and I finally got a chance to thank him for making Nick Fury black and changing the whole dynamic. It’s really great to be the connective tissue between so many different characters in so many different films, that brings those guys together. But I’m not in Captain America 3. I can’t figure that out, but I’m not. 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.
But it’s an amazing honor to be that guy, to be Nick Fury, to be in that particular world, and to be a character that people believe. It’s great. I’m as grateful for being in that, as I was being in Star Wars with George [Lucas] and to play a character that people remember, like Mace Windu. It’s all great. It’s hard not to be a part of something that you know, if people study film for the next 200 years, they’ll be talking about Star Wars and The Avengers series, and all that stuff.”
Jackson’s absence from the bursting-at-the-seams Captain America: Civil War cast is indeed odd, but it’s likely Marvel is saving him for the two-part Avengers: Infinity War saga. When asked how many films he has left on his contract, the actor said he thinks he has two remaining on his nine-picture deal, but he doesn’t plan on leaving the MCU:
“Of course [I’m interested in returning]! I’m looking for a contract extension right now, yeah. I’m looking to re-up.”
So if Marvel wants to keep Nick Fury around (and of course they do), Jackson is game to keep playing the character for as long as they’ll have him. As contracts for the other actors begin to expire and Marvel introduces a slew of new heroes, Nick Fury will no doubt be the glue that ties this entire Marvel Cinematic Universe together over the different phases.