Samuel Jackson Might Not Be Returning as Nick Fury?!
A rather disappointing bit of news to report today, coming from Geoff Boucher of the LA Times' Hero Complex. Despite previous confirmations otherwise, apparently Samuel Jackson might not return as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury in the upcoming Marvel movies. "I saw 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," Jackson said. So what the heck happened since then? Well, it always comes down to money.
"There was a huge kind of negotiation that broke down. Maybe I won't be Nick Fury. Maybe somebody else will be Nick Fury or maybe Nick Fury won't be in it. There seems to be an economic crisis in the Marvel Comics world so [they're saying to me], 'We're not making that deal.'" First it was Terrence Howard being replaced by Don Cheadle, now it's Sam Jackson! Before we get too far into this, let's look at Marvel's situation. The problem is that The Avengers movie will require salaries for at least five big actors: Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, whoever plays Thor, whoever plays Captain America, and whoever is the villain.
If you look at it that way, obviously Marvel's "economic crisis" is that they're going to need a lot of money to be able to pull off an enormous crossover movie like that. While I expect it to be a huge hit that's entirely worth it in the end, it's an issue they need to address before they go into production. And that means potentially cutting Jackson's side character out of the movies. I know that Nick Fury is definitely not a side character, considering he is the leader of the Avengers team, but he's not leading his own movie and I'm sure Marvel doesn't want to pay him (or whoever plays him) a lead actor salary on top of all the others.
So what hope do we have, if any? Well, when Boucher told Jackson that it's likely no one else would want to step into the role that was designed from the ground up for Jackson to play, his response was: "Maybe nobody will wear it. Maybe they'll decide Nick Fury won't be part of it." That would be very sad to see, but it really could happen. Or maybe Marvel could realize how important Jackson is, find some extra funding, and do their best to keep him in it. It all depends - is the cup half empty or half full?