Samuel L. Jackson Was Nick Fury Before the MCU Even Existed

in Marvel, Television

samuel l jackson as nick fury

Credit: Marvel Studios

Nick Fury is one of the most important characters in Marvel comic books, helping create The Avengers and leading S.H.I.E.L.D. to protect the United States and the World from enormously powerful threats. And believe it or not, Samuel L. Jackson was Nick Fury before the MCU was even a thing.

Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Originally introduced in 1963, Nick Fury was always a tough and clever military man who always put the world’s safety ahead of anything else. This has included discovering Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel, creating the Avengers Initiative, leading S.H.I.E.L.D., and pulling strings from the government to do whatever is necessary. While not as publicly appreciated, he is as essential to Marvel as Captain America, Iron Man, and The Fantastic Four.

Fury’s most iconic redesign occurred in the early 2000s for issue five of Ultimate Marvel Team-Ups (2001-2002). Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Allred, the comic book legends drew inspiration from actor Samuel L. Jackson, an Oscar-nominated actor most well-known at the time for his performances in Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Shaft (2000), and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999).

However, when Fury graced the pages of The Ultimates in 2002, one person was quick to recognize the similarities between Nick Fury and Samuel L. Jackson: Samuel L. Jackson.

Marvel Used Samuel L. Jackon’s Likeness For Nick Fury Without His Permission, and He Was All For It

Nick Fury in Marvel Comics Secret Invasion
Credit: Marvel Comics

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Samuel L. Jackson had always been a big comic book fan, and one of his favorite characters was Sgt. Nick Fury from Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (1963-1981), created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. However, Fury was originally a World War II veteran with two working eyes, would chomp on a cigar, and was white.

Cut to about 40 years later, and Jackson entered a comic shop and saw the first issue of Marvel Ultimates, which introduced the new version of Nick Fury that just so happened to look like Jackson.

According to Jackson, “It was kind of weird. I just happened to be in a comic store, and I picked up the comic because I saw my face. And I was like, ‘Wait a minute, I’m not sure I remember giving somebody permission to use my image.'” This was confirmed in the second issue of The Ultimates when Nick Fury states that Samuel L. Jackson would play him in a movie.

Nick Fury saying the Samuel L. Jackson should play him
Credit: Marvel Comics

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Jackson contacted Marvel to try and figure out what was going on, and they basically offered him the part. “They were kind of like, ‘Yeah, we are planning on making movies, and we do hope you’ll be a part of them,'” he recalls.

The rest, as they say, is history. Nick Fury has remained one of the most important characters in Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, moving events forward and pulling strings behind the scenes.

After years of being in the MCU, Fury is finally getting his own adventure with Secret Invasion alongside Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke, Ben Mendelsohn, and Kingsley Ben-Adir.

Is there anyone else who could play Nick Fury? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Marvel, Television

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