The reports of Samuel L. Jackson’s exit from the role of Nick Fury in Marvel Studios’ future projects has been greatly exaggerated. Either that, or Jackson’s bargaining ploy of publicly complaining about being lowballed has paid off. Marvel’s gone far in the opposite direction, signing Jackson to an amazing nine-picture deal to portray Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s super-spy organization. That’s NINE (9) movies. This will likely include Iron Man 2, Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, Captain America and The Avengers movies, all planned to be released by 2011 (although WB has just scheduled the final Harry Potter movie on the same day as The Avengers – July 15, 2011 – so we’ll see which one backs down first). So that’s 4 of 9. There’s always a possible S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff movie with crazy cloak and dagger antics, for a fifth, and of course, sequels to all these movies are hoped for as well.
This is a stunning about-face for the stingy Marvel Studios, who cast aside Terrence Howard from the Iron Man franchise reportedly due to money disagreements, bringing in Don Cheadle to take on the role of James Rhodes, Tony Stark’s brother-in-armor. Jackson, however, had a better bargaining posture, as the version of Nick Fury from Marvel’s “Ultimate” line of comics is quite obviously based on him, and thus it would be very hard to recast. It would be especially hard to revert him back to the origins of the character, when he was a grizzled white guy who fought in World War II with a unit called the Howling Commandos. Once you go Jackson, you never go back, son.
The Man just turned 60 years old last December, and although his roles in a lot of these movies will likely be supporting at best, that still means a good chunk of his sexagenarian years will be devoted to cool comic-book movies. Not a bad move to make.
It may sound like a lot of work for Sam, but here’s a clip of him dismissing anyone calling him a ‘workaholic.’ He’s just doing his job.