If his quick cameo at the end of last summer’s Iron Man was enough to leave you wanting to see more of Samuel L. Jackson as spymaster Nick Fury, than you have a lot to look forward to. Marvel Studios has signed an amazing nine picture deal to play the character in their ongoing series of superhero films.
Jackson’s post-credit appearance in Iron Man was the first step in a multi-film plan to weave several comic book adaptations into a larger, shared universe tapestry. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Jackson will appear in the previously announced Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and Avengers films which will role out in the summers of 2010 and 2011, as well as a film focusing on the spy agency that Fury heads, S.H.I.E.L.D.
This is an unexpected, but certainly welcome, announcement. Last month, it had appeared that Marvel and Jackson were not able to come to terms about the actor’s continued participation as Nick Fury. Perhaps mentioning the negotiation difficulties was Jackson’s way of getting fan sentiment on his side. No matter what, I’m glad to see that Marvel came to their senses and struck a deal with the actor. When Jackson stepped out of the shadows at the end of Iron Man to approach Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) about a project called “The Avengers Initiative” you could feel the excitement rip through the opening night audience in the theater where I saw the film. To not follow through on the process of Jackson appearaing in future films would be a disappointment.
Of course, the amount of Jackson’s participation in each film remains undetermined. While he could have significant screen time in Iron Man 2 and The Avengers, his appearances in Captain America and Thor could be more of a cameo in nature as those films are expected to be primarily set away from the contemporary setting of Iron Man and The Avengers.
The other four films that Jackson could appear in remain undetermined. They could be further installments of some of Marvel’s current films like Iron Man or Avengers, or they could be in films introducing new Marvel Comics characters to the big screen.