Updated May 1, 2019: Newly-released stills from July's Spider-Man: Far From Home adds some new intrigue into the question of whether the Nick Fury who darts Ned in the neck in the first trailer is indeed the real Nick Fury.
As detailed below in the original story and followed-up on here, there seems to be evidence that Fury (as he prefers to be called per Captain Marvel) may be being impersonated by the Chameleon, at least in the early parts of the film.
Again, Fury's actions with Ned seem somewhat out of character and this still featuring Spider-Man and Mysterio along with another figure that seems to be actor Numan Acar in similar clothing (rumored to be playing the Chameleon) seems to directly connect the scenes of 'Fury' finding Peter in his hotel room and taking him by boat to the Venice underground to meet Mysterio.
So how does this other new image (shown at the top of this article) featuring Fury and Maria Hill meeting with Spider-Man in his 'stealth' costume fit into the puzzle?
On one hand it seemingly contradicts the premise the Fury in the trailer isn't the real Fury, if we regard the presence of Hill as a determining factor. But that depends on how you look at it.
This image in fact offers a stark (sorry) contrast to how Fury is depicted. Again, an early description of the film in which "Mysterio is a cool new hero that's been recruited by Nick Fury..." and corroborated by the trailer suggests Fury introduces Peter to Mysterio, who in the trailers presents himself as a hero. But Spider-Man comic book fans knows Mysterio is really no hero and deception is his entire premise.
Putting this all together, postulating that the real Fury is the one who takes Peter to the Venice catacombs to meet who be believes is a heroic Mysterio (along with the other guy) suggests Fury is being deceived too, and that kind of goes against who and what Fury is all about.
Would the guy who ferreted out Hydra's infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. be taken by ruse like that again?
The bright, clean, sterile image of Fury, Hill and Peter later in the film (per the stealth armor), perhaps in the London office tower seen in the trailer, contrasted with 'Fury' taking Peter into the dark underground suggests another alternative:
That there are two Furys. The Chameleon-Fury that appears towards the start of the film, darts Ned and takes Peter to meet the 'hero' Mysterio in the underground and the real Fury, who gets wind of the deception and appears to perhaps straighten Peter out later in the film, high above ground.
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Original story published January 15, 2019: 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.