Samuel L. Jackson talks about playing Nick Fury in IRON MAN and Octopus in THE SPIRIT

     August 2, 2007

When I agreed to attend the press day for “Resurrecting the Champ,” I had no idea I’d get such great quotes from Sam Jackson on a few of his upcoming projects. It ended up that while it was a roundtable interview with Sam, it was quite small and I was able to work in my comic book questions with relative ease.

Sometime next week I’ll be posting the full Q & A of the interview, but since a lot of what he said I’d never heard before, I knew you’d all want to read the stuff on “Iron Man” and “The Spirit” immediately.

So to catch up the people who don’t know… in the “Iron Man” movie that comes out next summer, it seems that both Sam Jackson and Hillary Swank have filmed small parts that could get expanded into a future film based on those characters. Marvel seems to be setting up the “Iron Man” universe as belonging to a bigger sandbox than the previous movies based on their characters. And while everyone seems to know that Sam is playing Nick Fury, no one yet knows what character Hilary plays.

Now here’s where it gets good.

Up to now Sam hasn’t said anything about why he’d want to play Nick Fury or even if he had played Nick. But when I asked him if hypothetically he was in the movie and why he’d done it, he actually answered and said a lot.

The other dish of interesting news I dug up at the roundtable was that Sam is trying to get a survival movie of some sort off the ground and the director that was attached was Park Chan-wook! But before you get excited… Sam said that he just dropped out due to not having final cut.

And for those who are curious about Frank Miller’s “The Spirit,” Sam talks about his character in the movie, Octopus. And for those who don’t know, he’s the villain in the film.

As always, you can either read the words below or listen to the audio of the interview by clicking here. Sorry to say but it’s the entire interview so you’ll have to forward around to get to the quotes that are below.

And to make it easy, the Nick Fury stuff is first and the “Spirit” stuff is below and clearly marked.

Nick Fury Questions:

Question: I’m curious if your Shield movie is 2009 or 2010?

Samuel L. Jackson: I have no idea. I have no idea if I’m even going to do one. I have no idea if I’m in Iron Man or not. People keep talking about it.

It’s possible that you and maybe Hilary Swank have one day parts.

I’ve heard that. I’ve heard that, yeah.

If you were hypothetically in the movie, which of course you weren’t, but if you were, what drew you to wanting to play—hypothetically—possibly playing a character like that?

Well, because I knew who Nick Fury was when I was a kid and it’s really amazing to me that he actually…he was this white guy who used to be in the Army with this group called the Howling Commandos and as I grew up, he actually grew up to be me in the comic book now. When I look at the comic book I go wow, Nick Fury looks a lot like me now. So I figure it’s got to be interesting to play a guy who used to be white who’s now black and like me.

Did you hear about how well the footage was received at Comic Con?

No, I did not.

They didn’t show hypothetically if you were in the movie but the footage that played was the talk of the entire convention.


It was the A , homerun, Barry Bonds destroying it. It was amazing.

Great, that’s good to hear. Maybe I will let them do me in there.

(I think he means make a movie based on his character, but don’t quote me!)

The Spirit Questions:

Question: What are you attached to in the future?

Samuel L. Jackson: What I’m attached to in the future? Right now I’m shooting Lakeview Terrace with Neil LaBute. In October I start The Spirit with Frank Miller.

He told us that at Comic Con. You play Octopus?

Octopus, yeah.

Are you looking forward to having him as a director?

Yes I am. I’m anxious to get down there and start doing that film. It’s going to be great.

I was going to ask, has he told you anything or has he alluded to you about the casting of The Spirit?

I keep asking him and he says nobody else has been cast. I was the only person right now that’s totally locked in.

He said to me he’s having a tough time getting people to audition and he wants to make sure the chemistry is right.

Um. Well agents do that because they start saying I don’t want my client to read, because sometimes they don’t want you to realize the client can’t act. I’ve never been afraid of that. It’s kind of like, sure I’ll read. No problem.

Did he show you the script? Or did you just know Frank Miller?

I read a script, yeah. That’s pretty exciting.

So you’re playing in The Spirit. Is there something past The Spirit or is that the farthest on the horizon?

Right now, yeah. I have kind of a survival film that I’m trying to get up that may get up. At one point we had the kid who directed Old Boy was attached to it. But something happened last week, something about him not being able to get final cut or something so he fell out. Now we need to find a new director.

Is the LaBute script one of his pleasant scripts or one of the ones where people may want to burn down the theatre?

Hmm. It’s a script about this nice little inter-racial couple that moves in next door to a racist policeman who’s trying to run them out of his neighborhood. So, there you go.

I wanted to know for the people who aren’t familiar with The Spirit and the character. Could you talk about your character in that film, or is it confidential?

The Octopus? No, I guess if people had read the comic they’ll know who he is. He’s like the crime kingpin of this kind of city sort of like Gotham City I guess. They have their own little metropolitan place that this guy is like the crime kingpin of and Spirit is kind of a mysterious character that shows up all the time to save the day like Batman does in Batcity. The Octopus is sort of indestructible kind tough guy, psychotic killer. The kind of thing I’ve been wanting to do for awhile.

I just have to say and I’m speaking for all fans that all of us cannot wait to see what’s he’s going to be doing.

Yeah, we love Frank so we can’t wait to jump in there.

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