Samuel L. Jackson Not Nick Fury in Avengers Films?

Jackson Not Nick Fury in Avengers?

Samuel L. Jackson’s appearance at the end of last summer’s Iron Man was a loving wink and nod to comic book fans. Used as the model for the character in Marvel’s “Ultimate” line of comics by artist Bryan Hitch, Samuel L. Jackson briefly appeared as Nick Fury, head of SHIELD in a scene following the credits, and dropped the major hint that the Avengers were coming. With the coming Marvel films focusing on the members of the Avengers, fans thought it was a done deal that Jackson would be making more appearances as the soldier with an eyepatch.

Maybe not.

Speaking to The LA Times Geoff Boucher, Jackson hinted that he may not be back.

From Boucher’s Hero Complex column: "I saw [Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director] Jon Favreau at the Scream Awards and we had a conversation. He said, 'I hope things are working out for you because we're writing stuff for you.' Then all of a sudden last week I talked to my agents and manager and things aren't really working that well."

The reason? “There seems to be an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world," Jackson said.

Boucher admits that Jackson’s revelation to him may just be a negotiating tactic to drum up public support that would pressure the Studio into signing him – and paying him – for the role. Marvel told Boucher that they do not comment on active negotiations - emphasis Marvel’s.

If he leaves the films, Jackson would be the second actor to depart the Avengers-centric productions, as Iron Man’s Terrence Howard was replaced late last year by Don Cheadle. Cheadle will play Tony Stark’s confidant – and fellow armor-wearer, War Machine, Jim Rhodes. While no clear reason was given (or at least reasons from the actor and studio that agreed with one another) for Howard’s departure, money was named by some as one, if not the chief reason.

To hear that money may be an issue in the coming Marvel films seems to play into speculation by some pundits that Marvel’s Avengers movie slate could have an extraordinary production cost when one considers that an Avengers film would have to pay the asking prices of Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, and perhaps Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/the Hulk; not to mention whoever will play Captain America and Thor, both of whom need to be “names” enough to support their own solo films - and a director and full production team.

As Jackson joked with Boucher, at the end of the day, money may be responsible for tweaking storylines and characters, noting that Marvel may decide that Nick Fury – or at least his Nick Fury - won’t be a part of the film franchise.

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