Before the MCU, Nick Fury almost had his own solo movie. If that had happened, the landscape of superhero cinema might have looked very different.
In the days leading up to the MCU, Marvel had already planned a Nick Fury film that was ultimately undone. The Director of SHIELD has been a staple of Marvel Comics since its conception in 1963. It’s gone through a number of iterations over its long publishing history, but Nick Fury is almost always portrayed as the leader of SHIELD and often in some way. so a co-coordinator of various teams of heroes.
However, Nick Fury’s star has really grown with his inclusion in the MCU, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson’s performance as the character quickly became the quintessential version, and Nick Fury’s role in the MCU proved pivotal in establishing his larger connection narrative. As a result, the character is now more popular than ever, thanks in part to the MCU’s handling of his history and role within the Marvel Universe.
However, in the mid-2000s, Marvel planned to give the character his own movie. As Hollywood realized the potential of the superhero genre and the potential to connect the films into a larger continuity, Marvel announced that work would begin on a number of pre-MCU Marvel films, including a Nicky solo film. Fury. In 2006, Andrew W. Marlowe was hired to write a screenplay, but the film was ultimately scrapped, with Fury appearing as part of the MCU two years later.
Before being touted as one of the MCU’s best Phase 1 characters, Nick Fury wasn’t the most well-known Marvel hero – as far as box office draw goes, at least – but Marvel was clearly aware of its cinematic potential. Marlowe’s script was said to have been loosely based on Nick Fury: S.H.I.E.L.D. agent but no further details about the planned film have been released, making it unclear if the script was ever completed. However, it’s no mystery as to exactly why the pre-MCU Nick Fury movie never got made.
With Samuel L. Jackson chosen to play the role in the 2008s Iron Man, it’s clear that Marvel has decided on a better role for the character in its cinematic universe: a bond between each of the individual heroes used as a means of assembling the MCU’s Avengers. While Marvel didn’t originally plan to use Nick Fury after Iron Manfrom the post-credits scene, it’s clear that the character’s solo movie idea was scrapped in favor of his Iron Man appearance. Given the resounding success of both Iron Man and the resulting MCU, the move paid off for Marvel, as Nick Fury is a character who has proven to be a major player in the franchise’s narrative.
While the Nick Fury movie was just one of many planned Marvel movies that never saw the light of day, it’s an intriguing glimpse into the MCU that might have happened once. The character has become virtually synonymous with actor Samuel L. Jackson’s MCU portrayal in the years since, so a pre-MCU Nick Fury movie would likely have fallen far short of the hero as he exists today. Whether more details about the planned film will ever be revealed remains to be seen, but it’s probably for the best that Nick Fury never got his pre-MCU solo movie.
Next: MCU: The actors who almost played Nick Fury before Samuel L. Jackson
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