The just-released first teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home features the appearance of none other than Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury ... or does it?
That's certainly Jackson, of course, and on the surface, Fury appears in the trailer to recruit Peter Parker for a mission, seemingly to take on the Elementals alongside Mysterio – as Jake Gyllenhaal established at a 2018 convention. But is there more going on with Fury than meets the eye?
Keeping in mind that with Fury there almost always is, in introducing himself to Spider-Man, Fury first subdues Peter’s best friend Ned with a tranquilizer dart to the neck – and then leaves him there, with the dart still in his neck.
Now, we’re not saying any Marvel version of Fury has ever been afraid to turn his trademark needle gun on anyone in his path, but it’s more than a little uncharacteristic for Fury - especially the MCU Fury - to pop a 16-year-old kid in the neck and leave him unconscious on the floor.
Tony Stark eventually wrestled with putting a teenager in harm's way, and it also seems out of character for Fury to conclude his only option is the recruitment of a high school kid.
Couple that with our general skepticism about any movie featuring Mysterio (taking anything at face value is just asking to be fooled), and we started wondering – what are the chances that’s not actually Nick Fury at all, but a trick? Not necessarily an illusion … but a disguise.
You probably know where this is going … is it possible that’s actually the Chameleon wearing Nick Fury’s face?
This theory isn’t totally out of left field, by the way. A report from July 2018 claimed that Aladdin actor Numan Acar had been cast as a character named “Dimitri” – potentially as in Dmitri Smerdyakov, the Chameleon ... Spider-Man's first-ever arch supervillain. And on a thematic level, who better to team with the lord of illusions than the master of disguise?
If that is Chameleon disguised as Nick Fury, this wouldn’t be the first time the villain has impersonated Fury in a Spider-Man story. All the way back in an episode of the 1990s Spider-Man cartoon (specifically, 1995's "Day of the Chameleon”), Chameleon impersonates the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader – but is ultimately discovered when Peter Parker realizes Fury's eyepatch is on the wrong eye. Of course, if the Fury in this trailer is the Chameleon, he was smart enough not to repeat that mistake.
What's more, disguise technology already has precedent in the MCU. Black Widow used facial and voice-disguise tech to infiltrate the Triskelion in Captain America: Winter Soldier. If Far From Home’s theoretical Chameleon were, say, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. and/or Hydra agent going into business for himself by appropriating the tech, that would explain a lot, including having potential knowledge to impersonate Fury.
And, we have to note, it’s also entirely possible that is Nick Fury, taking on Tony Stark’s mentor role from Homecoming on some level.
And either which way it goes, the real Nick Fury eventually appearing would be a very Nick Fury thing to do.
But again, we know (because Mysterio and because us comic book fans know he's almost certainly not really a hero) the plot of Far From Home seems steeped in illusion and misdirection.
We’re assuming the Elementals are his doing as part of his plan, and if, as Jake Gyllenhaal said, Fury assigns Spidey to work alongside Mysterio to defeat them … well … Let’s just say we’re not seeing anything here that tells us we shouldn’t be questioning the truth about Fury’s presence in Far From Home.
We'll find out when Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters July 5.